March 29, 2014

Bright Red Pen (Drive)

I have this bright red pen drive containing my novel. It’s on a cord so I can hang it around my neck and update the story, write extra chapters and generally go nuts on it whenever I am struck with a creative lightning bolt.

You may think this is a good idea.

I have lost the bloody thing.

Continue reading

March 25, 2014

Drafts and the Devil

Wherever you look on the internet there seems to be much hand-wringing and head-banging about drafts. Such-and-such an author did a gazillion drafts and he still wasn’t happy or so-and-so re-wrote her novel from scratch 78 times until she perfected the characterisation.

Then you pick up a Dan Brown book and it reads like he wrote it in his dinner hour whilst he was paying more attention to Loose Women than actually writing a readable piece of work.

Continue reading

February 25, 2014


Ellis Nichols, Cryogenic Chamber Technician – Personal log.

Day 2

You’d think there’d be a better way to transport all these people. Stacked up and subjected to the rigours of thrust as Earth recedes into the distance, their bodies, slack and unconscious, becoming distorted, misshapen, a disfigured abomination of the perfection and purity we’re supposed to be carrying to a new Eden. Continue reading

January 11, 2014

The Story of My Creativity (Sort of)

charlie the invisible thingI’ve already spoken about the crazy, creativity-stifling art teacher who bollocked me for drawing “New Life” (her brief) in the shape of a plant metamorphosing into a man, well, she wasn’t the only one as I was growing up.

When I was about 11 we all created “Charlie” stories. We each picked an inanimate object, called it Charlie, and wrote about its adventures. So my classmates invented, Charlie the Spoon, Charlie the Bucket, Charlie the Pair of Curtains etc.

They were boring as shit. Continue reading

January 1, 2014

What is Creativity?

When I was 12 our art teacher gave us a homework brief of “New Life”. That was all she said: “New Life”.creativity

I went home, my head fizzing with ideas and finally settled upon a black and white line drawing of an agonised man growing out of a tree, his limbs merging with the branches as he sprang forth.

I was pretty proud of it.

The teacher gave me a bollocking for “drawing something stupid”. Continue reading

December 31, 2013

Obligatory Resolutions Post

Well, here we are, on the cusp of 2014 and another year of pretending to be a writer, faffing (my dad’s word) about and not doing anything concrete. Meandering aimlessly through the writer’s universe, talking toot and marvelling at my own inability to motivate myself.

Well not anymore!Anne Tyler Quote Continue reading

December 30, 2013

Why I Write

I write to get things out, be they good or bad. Not as a diary, my life isn’t that interesting, but when I’m faced with something so incredibly dumb it offends my sensibilities (such as a poor boardgame or crappy soccer performance) or something so wonderfully profound that it lifts me (such as a well crafted novel or my wedding anniversary), I am compelled to write.Writer Continue reading

August 21, 2013

Reading 50 Books in 12 Months‏

It’s generally regarded that the process of reading will improve the quality of one’s writing and feed the creative process through the absorption original ideas that will be reprocessed by the mind into something original*.

I am in the middle of a creative slump.

I also have over thirty unread novels.

So I have challenged myself to read fifty books in the next twelve months. Continue reading

July 23, 2013

Brown Stuff


Writing is a struggle against silence.

Carlos Fuentes

Sometimes I’m self deprecating about my own writing.

I say stuff like ‘this is bloody awful, it’s like J.K. Rowling has written it.” This is spoken for comedy effect as some sections of the literary world have criticised her methods of telling rather than showing (for example) and I thought that she was, as an author who had the brass neck to put her stuff out into the world, fair game for the slings and arrows. Continue reading

July 4, 2013

The Great Pretender

I am often surprised at how bad my writing is.calvin & hobbes writing

I’m currently re-writing my novel, Charnel Butterflies, and as I read the first draft after a break of a few months, I am struck by how much of what I initially regarded as a work of sheer genius is in fact, utter drivel. Continue reading