Road Trip to Self Discovery

Robert Pirsig died this week. I loved his novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance so much that I named a character after him in my own book Ghost Road. The book is based on an actual trip taken by Pirsig and his young son Chris. The account is made even more poignant by […]

Getting Stuff Done by NOT making Decisions

  I read that, while he was President, Barack Obama had a habit of never wearing anything but blue and grey suits. It got me thinking about how important habits are in our lives and how I might be able to use the power of habit to get my book written and achieve world domination. I’m working […]

Which Desk Should You Choose For Success (And Which Guarantees Failure?)

This is my desk. I only recently got this set-up so I don’t know yet whether it will help my writing process or not. Of all the aspects of writing probably one of the most banal is the issue of where you sit when you write. And yet maybe it makes all the difference. Personally, […]

The Writers’ Arrival

It’s sci-fi and it has aliens in it but that’s not all it is. Arrival is thoughtful, atmospheric film with a great central performance from Amy Adams. The screenplay was written by Eric Heissener based on a short story by Ted Chiang called Story of Your Life. Film reviews rarely say much about the writers […]

Alan Bennett as The Incredible Hulk

I listened to Alan Bennett reading from the latest volume of his diaries Keeping On Keeping On on BBC Radio 4. As expected it was funny, poignant and perceptive but I also thought it showed that Bennett has an angry side. He’s not exactly The Incredible Hulk, turning green and bursting out of his tweed […]

When Violence is Good

  I watched Episode 5 of The Missing (Series 2, BBC One). The episode is fast becoming known for its violent ending. The series, which focuses on investigations into missing children, does not often feature violence so this episode came as a hammer blow. Some have criticised the violence shown but I think that this […]

Illustrating your own book; is it as dangerous as performing your own brain surgery?

“You wouldn’t cut your own hair, would you? (Unless you’re Donald Trump, maybe). Or take out your own tooth? How about flying yourself to Barbados? Nope. So why do I think it’s a good idea to illustrate your own book? The sketch above is one that I’ve done for my upcoming children’s book . I’m […]

What are your favourite books of all time?

“The list is constantly changing but, as it stands, my faves are… in reverse order…..” JK 5. Larry’s Party by Carol Shields   4. K-Pax by Gene Brewer   3. Andrew’s Brain by E.L. Doctorow   2. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig   1. A Portrait of the Artist as […]