I’ve been reading a lot of crime fiction lately. For me, one author stands out: Ian Rankin. His Inspector Rebus novels, set in Edinburgh, are taut and atmospheric. His writing style has often been emulated but rarely matched. Why?
I’d like to explore Rankin’s style with examples from his second Rebus novel, Hide and Seek, published in 1991. I won’t talk about the plot here, but mainly writing technique and style. Continue reading
The first day of 2018 will be marked by a full moon, but not just any full moon. It’s a supermoon, meaning that the moon will be at its closest to the Earth, and will appear larger and brighter than normal. It’s also a wolf moon, the name given to the first moon in January.
Coincidentally, the day of the supermoon also marks the publication of my new werewolf novel, Wolf Blood (available from Amazon). Continue reading
I haven’t been blogging so much recently and that’s because I’ve been busy writing a novel. That novel is now almost ready for publishing, so I can tell you a little more about it. Continue reading
English. What a wonderful language, but how irritating that it comes in two flavours (flavors.) How should an author handle this problem?
If you’re a British author writing for a British audience, you can simply use British spellings. Colour. Organisation. Defence. Similarly for American writers – use American spellings. Color. Organization. Defense.
But what if you want to make your book as accessible as possible? Tricky. Continue reading
I started reading George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire reluctantly. My expectations were low. The book didn’t start well, with a confusing jumble of voices, and an omniscient point of view that added to the sense of dislocation. But by the end of the first chapter, Martin’s hook had caught me. It wasn’t the action that drew me in, although the first chapter does contain a dramatic sword fight. It wasn’t the characters, who were not particularly well drawn, nor long lived. It was the prose. The words were magical, delicate, full of mystery and power. They conveyed much more than the literal flow of events.
I’ve been a proud Kindle owner for a year now (and a sneaky borrower of my wife’s Kindle for two years prior to that), so I thought it would be useful to set out my thoughts on the subject. I’m going to rank these three media, starting with my least favourite. Continue reading
Don’t worry. This isn’t about Trump. I’ve returned to my first love – science fiction – with two new novels in the pipeline. The first is a conspiracy thriller set in the near future, the second an apocalyptic blockbuster set in the present day. Continue reading
Posted in Books & Films
Tagged Books, Computers, Creativity, Prediction, Religion, Science, Science fiction, Technology, Werewolves, Words, Work, Writing
This, my friends, is a question that all of us have surely pondered. When I say “other people” I don’t mean you, of course, esteemed reader. I know that all of us here today are not stupid in the least. We are all smart, reasonable people. It’s those others I’m talking about. You know the ones I mean. Just what the effing fuck is wrong with them?
Here I’m going to share a theory of mine. Continue reading
In days gone by, we used to peer over other people’s shoulders on trains and in public spaces to read their newspapers. Flitting headlines would parade before us, grabbing our attention, as history unfolded before our eyes: Continue reading
Posted in Life, Technology
Tagged Creativity, Democracy, Equality, Facebook, Freedom, Internet, Language, Technology, Twitter, Words
We’ve just booked flights to Budapest so we can attend the wedding of an old university friend. The flights cost us nothing, because we paid for them using Avios. What are Avios, you may wonder? They’re a loyalty points system operated by British Airways, and they used to be called Air Miles. Continue reading