The blurb has landed

Ah, things are really rolling now. After the mysterious appearance of a listing for my next novel on Amazon recently, now a blurb has appeared in my email inbox. It’s quite strange and in some ways depressing to see several…

Lucky Seven challenge

British crime writer Tom Quigley tagged me a while back in the Lucky Seven challenge, which involves publishing an extract from a current work in progress. Travelling delayed my response, but here it is. The rules were to go to…

The ingredients of fiction

Writing fiction is not really about making stuff up. It’s more about making sense of what you already have stored somewhere in your memory or subconscious, dusting it off, ordering it and making it intelligible to the rest of the…

“Too Loud a Solitude” by Bohumil Hrabal

The narrator of Too Loud a Solitude is an idiot. His boss despises him, others laugh at him. He drinks beer all day, and works in a cellar compacting wastepaper. He has been compacting wastepaper in the same cellar with…

“Saturday” by Ian McEwan

Not my favourite McEwan – that is Atonement by a long way. This was OK, a more meditative book, full of long meandering passages from the head of Henry Perowne, a successful neurosurgeon living in Marylebone with his successful wife…

“Brick Lane” by Monica Ali

Not sure what to write about this. I enjoyed the story and it was well-written, but to me nothing special. Hated the ending – don’t worry, I won’t give it away, but the last line just sounded so corny I…

“Southcrop Forest” by Lorne Rothman

I’ve always been interested in stories with non-human characters. I have an idea to write a story one day about a city – not the people in it, but the city itself, as a living character with its own actions…