Date Archives April 2012

How much would you pay for a short story?

Quick question for you. I’m thinking of making some of my short stories available for download from this site, but am not sure how much to charge for them. So I’ve set up a quick poll, below. I’d really appreciate your vote (oh dear, I sound like a politician). Seriously, though, it would help, and please be honest. If you wouldn’t be interested or don’t think it’s worth paying for, just say so. The results are anonymous 😉 What I’m thinking of is a pdf document that you’d download after… Read More

Beauty is a sleeping cat

So, a post in honour of one of my favourite book blogs. My wife and I have adopted a little kitten here in Barbados. Well, not sure if that’s the right word — she was hanging around the house, and we brought her inside and started feeding her and my wife gave her a name (Bluebell). Now Bluebell has taken to helping me with my writing, as shown in the pictures. I wrote “helping” tongue in cheek, but in fact she does help me in a way. She makes me happy… Read More

Where are the Women?

Palestinian Women by Fatma Kassem This book is a series of accounts by Palestinian women who lived through the ‘Nakba’ of 1948, in which they lost their homes and were either forced to leave the newly-formed state of Israel or were internally displaced within it. Except that it’s not. Not really. We don’t really hear much from the women themselves – only short quotes in certain places, to illustrate a particular point. We don’t get to know each woman clearly enough to feel the full power of her story from… Read More

Today I’m at Read.Learn.Write

Yes, I’m back! Fresh from my guest posting debut yesterday on The Undercover Soundtrack, I’m over at Read.Learn.Write today, talking about Why Reading and Writing are Inseparable. In the post, I talk about how I used to read widely but passively, just consuming books rather than truly engaging with them. And then I started this blog, and my reading habits changed. The act of writing the review made me think about what I’d read in new ways. And gradually, the expectation of writing a review made me read more thoughtfully and… Read More

Guest post on The Undercover Soundtrack

I am excited to see my guest post on The Undercover Soundtrack go live today. Novelist Roz Morris hosts a weekly series in which she asks other writers to talk about using music as part of the creative process. In the post, I talk about the creation of On the Holloway Road in more depth than I think I ever have on this site. That’s quite shocking, since I’ve been blogging for the full three years since it came out, and haven’t written much at all about the writing of it. I… Read More

Something you didn’t know about me

I have been tagged by the wonderful Emma in the 7×7 Link Award. The rules are quite fun:   1: Tell everyone something about yourself that nobody knows. 2: Link to a post I think fits the following categories: The Most Beautiful Piece, Most Helpful Piece, Most Popular Piece, Most Controversial Piece, Most Surprisingly Successful Piece, Most Underrated Piece, Most Pride-worthy Piece. 3: Pass this on to 7 fellow bloggers.   So here we go. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed putting it together! Something about… Read More

New short story

Just found out that I’ve had a short story accepted for the forthcoming Stations collection to be published by Arachne Press. It’s a collection of stories set around a particular train line in London, with one story for each station. I have a grim kind of fascination with London – almost all of my short stories have been set there, as well as my first novel On the Holloway Road. In the next one, A Virtual Love, I venture about 50 miles up the motorway to Milton Keynes, but there are… Read More

Another good review

On the Holloway Road just picked up another excellent review in the book blogging world, this time from Vishy. I haven’t been thinking about the book very much recently – I’m now two books ahead, working on my third novel! So it’s great to have been reminded of On the Holloway Road recently, first by Nivedita Barve’s review last week and now by Vishy’s. I like Vishy’s review a lot, especially the way he describes the different layers in the novel: At one level it is a ‘road-novel’ and describes… Read More

How interesting projects come about

  As a writer, you spend hours scouring the listings in The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, signing up for newsletters to hear of the latest story contests and magazine markets, sending off your official submission packages to anonymous editors, getting rejections and tweaking the story or the cover letter or the synopsis and sending it all out again. Sometimes, of course, this pays off. Winning the Luke Bitmead Award and getting my first novel published was the result of just such an official submission. So were other breaks, like short… Read More