Saying the Same Old Thing…

One of the challenges in writing novels is how we use language. A big part of that language (obviously), is the words we use to say what we want to say. And while there are a fair few words available, it can be tough to constantly come up with new ways of saying the same…

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‘Cold Comfort Farm’ by Stella Gibbons

Cold Comfort Farm I’ve wanted to read this novel since seeing the movie version back in the late 90’s (starring Kate Beckinsale, Eileen Atkins and Ian McKellen), but it’s taken me til now to actually get around to it. Stella Gibbons was working at the Evening Standard in 1928 when the paper decided to serialise…

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London Bridge is (sometimes) Falling Down…

One of the difficulties of writing historical fiction is the lack of pictorial and other evidence – photos, newsreels, podcasts etc, which means the images we can get our hands on are so much more meaningful. And then of course, there are the wonderfully talented people who turn their talents to building realistic models (such…

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Deaths and Other Surprises

What is it that makes us who we are? In the space of a few days, the world has lost three wonderfully individual and very different men: Lemmy, David Bowie and Alan Rickman were all hugely significant in their own artistic spheres and massively influential in my own personal sphere, too. It’s strange how the…

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‘The Good Son’ by Paul McVeigh

The Good Son Ten-year-old Michael Donnelly has a dog called Killer, an almost-telepathic relationship with his sister Wee Maggie, and a bit of a crush on the girl down the street. He’s also got a father who breaks promises and a bullish older brother who calls him ‘gay’. When Michael finds a gun in the…

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Getting the Word Out

As mentioned in my previous post, one of my tasks for this year is to get folk interested in my books (and ideally, buying them). As there are several ways to do that, I decided to tackle a couple of things I’ve been putting off: The Mailing List Reviews But before doing that, I thought…

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Resolutions and Other Irritations

              As my mate John Lennon used to say (when we were in The Beatles together), “Another year over – a new one just begun”. So as the New Year approaches, I’ll be making a few resolutions. Or not, as the case may be. In fact, what I’ll actually…

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This Year Winding Down Now…

Misquoting Dylan Thomas is as good a way as any to start one of my final posts of 2015. As the year draws to a close, it’s always useful (I like to think) to look back on all my achievements in the last twelve months. Naturally, I wouldn’t be doing this if I hadn’t achieved…

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