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February 17, 2019

As you may have seen, I've updated the website.

I've added an extended extract from The Maze Garden, and also an extract from my current work-in-progress, The Fifty Seven Minute War. But the biggest change is an indirect one: I've decided to take down my self-published...

December 8, 2018

So An Angel of Glass is complete. Sort of. It still requires a little polishing here and there, but I feel that it can be left on the backburner over Christmas. I'll look at it again with fresh eyes in the New Year, then think about trying to find an agent. Again.

It's...

February 4, 2018

It's rare to find a comedy that genuinely loves its characters.

Most comedies seem to thrive on humiliating their cast. Think about the painful bedroom antics of Friends, or the colliding egos of Arrested Development. Much rarer - perhaps because it's so hard to get rig...

April 6, 2017

There was a period during my childhood when my reading consisted pretty much solely of Asterix, Tintin, and the Horrible Histories. All three influenced me in different ways - but of the three, it was probably the works of Hergé that have had the most impact on my deve...

April 3, 2017

Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy were the first books that I really hated.

I must have been about fourteen or fifteen when I first read them. Up until that point, my reading had pretty much solely consisted of either crime novels (Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie), or an...

December 29, 2016

Quick, quick – name a Polish composer.

Now name a Polish composer who isn’t Chopin.

If you remembered Szymanowski, well done – have a gold star. But it should be a lot easier than this – particularly given the quality and quantity of classical music that the Poles have p...

December 29, 2016

I had to buy my own Christmas present this year – which isn’t quite the sob story it sounds to be, because it meant that I finally got my hands on Teodor Currentzis’ recording of Mozart’s Don Giovanni (with Musicaeterna on SONY). I’ve been waiting for this recording ev...

December 28, 2016

One of the joys of being a student again is that I get six months of Amazon Prime for free – and it’s a privilege that I’ve been thoroughly abusing. Amazon Prime, I’ve discovered, is very good for discovering low-key, but very good films, which might otherwise have pas...

August 3, 2016

Just a quick update on a couple of things I’ve loved recently.

GONE WITH THE WIND: I finally finished reading Margaret Mitchell’s epic. I thought it was brilliant. It surprised me because whereas it’s often held up to be the ultimate romantic saga, in many senses it’s a...

April 29, 2016

I used to love the Usborne Puzzle Adventure as a kid. But one volume in particular has had a lasting influence on me. That is (the somewhat underwhelmingly titled) Map and Maze Puzzles, written by Sarah Dixon, with illustrations by Radhi Parekh.

 

Let me explain why.

 

For...

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