Posts tagged Writing

Interview with a writer (and his cat): James Higgerson

Check out this short interview I recorded the other day with James Higgerson, Manchester-based author of The Almost Lizard. In the interview, James tells us how he wrote the novel, what he wanted to communicate, and what most surprised him about getting published. He also gives us a sneak preview of his next novel, Kid Gloves, inspired by Britain’s tabloid-fuelled obsession with child protection. And watch out for some unscheduled guest appearances by his cat, Omar… For more information about The Almost Lizard, you can: Read the review I wrote on… Read More

A bit of nonsense

I was struggling with my writing this morning, and somehow ended up procrastinating by changing all of the words in the first paragraph of my novel A Virtual Love to the first option that came up on Word’s thesaurus function. This was the result: The timepiece marked noisily cutting-edge the still obverse area. We observed on him, consequently that we didn’t must toward appearance on all additional. The pointers of the timepiece remained altogether that enthused, separately after certain well atoms of powder whirling cutting-edge the motionless, sincere mid-air. I… Read More

On showing up

There’s a quote I remember hearing years ago, one of those quotes that really resonated with me and has stuck with me ever since. It was by Woody Allen, I think, and he said something like “90% of life is about just showing up”. I may be misquoting slightly, but that’s the gist of it. Woody Allen said he wasn’t any more talented than a lot of other people, but what made him successful was that he kept showing up when others didn’t. He kept writing even when he was… Read More

Ten years ago: Why I Protest

This post is part of a series of stories and articles I wrote exactly ten years ago, on this day in 2003. Here I talk about my reasons for protesting against the Iraq war, which had just started at that point. For more stories in the series, click here. The dust storm came blasting down Wall Street. Luckily I saw it coming and managed to duck inside before it engulfed our building, blocking out the sun. For several minutes, crouching nervously in the darkened lobby, I tried not to think about… Read More

The endorsements are in!

Wanted to say a big “thank you” to James Miller and Alex Wheatle for being among the first readers of A Virtual Love, and for providing some great feedback. Their words were truncated to fit on the cover, but here are the extended versions: A compelling tale, told from several perspectives, about the identity that people project about themselves in the social media world and the real life identity that we all cannot escape from. A fascinating, modern story that had me gripped. — Alex Wheatle A compelling and very… Read More

What is privilege?

When people hear about my background, they immediately think I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I went to Oxford, you see, and before that to a pretty exclusive private school (pictured), and even before that to a private primary school. Add in some high-flying jobs and a master’s from an Ivy League university in the US, and people form a mental image of something between Prince William and the Great Gatsby. This talk of privilege often makes me defensive. The implication is that I was handed… Read More

Beauty? No, thanks

As a side note to my post last week on the cafes I have killed, I wanted to add one more thing about writing locations. It struck me that in a country with so much beauty, I  have latched onto the ugliest locations in which to do my writing. It seems that beauty doesn’t really work for me, at least while I’m writing. It’s wonderful to look at, wonderful to get inspiration from, but it seems I prefer to get that inspiration before I sit down to write. When I’m… Read More

The cafe killer

I have a confession to make. I’m a natural born killer. Don’t worry – I don’t kill people, or even butterflies. I kill cafes. All I have to do is pick a place to do my writing, go there fairly regularly, and it’ll be closed before the year is out. I’ve even killed a café in Barbados, and I’ve only been here since last December. Here is a partial list of London cafés I have killed: Pick More Daisies (Crouch End) Figo’s Cafe (Crouch End) Messy Mug (Crouch End) Dudley’s Pancake… Read More

Me and Marcel

I was happy to hear that one of my short stories has been translated into Turkish and published in a literary magazine. I was even more tickled to see the list of names on the cover  – amid the Turkish names, a couple of foreigners. Andrew Blackman and Marcel Proust. Don’t worry, I’m not getting delusions of grandeur. I know I’ve got a lot of work to do before I catch up with Proust in terms of literary standing. But it was nice to share a cover with him. The… Read More