They are not idiots. They're hacks. I've written on this blog before about my quiet love for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It's a book I studied and one, as a teenager, I felt a lot of kinship with. Because what else is Frankenstein about but a Creature attempting to find its place in a cold and … Continue reading The Monster, The Sun and A Tale of Hack Journalism
***SPOILER ALERT*** Star Trek Discovery spoilers ahead! If you’re not past episode 12 “Vaulting Ambition” then just back on out of here and come back later. But if episode 12 is old news to you, or you’re not a Trekky, then read on! This isn’t a love letter to the scf-fi world. I’m only using … Continue reading 6 Signs You’re Writing a Bad Guy
Last weekend, I saw 'The Birthday Party' by Harold Pinter. It had some of my favourite actors in it including Toby Jones, Stephen Mangan, Zoe Wanamaker, and, of course, Doctor Who's Pearl Mackie. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was at the Harold Pinter theatre - however, I've been living in London for about eight years now and I've been coming … Continue reading Review: The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter
This week, the Guardian ran a quote from Arnaud Nourry, chief executive of Hachette Livre, saying that ebooks are “a stupid product” which have "no creativity" and have so far only had "one or two successes among a hundred failures." If you haven't heard of them, Hachette is currently the world's third largest trade publisher so we … Continue reading Are eBooks Stupid?
Since I saw Hamilton at the Alexandra Palace and posted my review, I’ve been having many and various fun arguments with friends and fellow musical theatre lovers as to why this is probably one of the greatest musicals in the last twenty years. I’ve seen some amazing new musicals like Groundhog Day and Matilda, but … Continue reading Why Hamilton is Genius
This is a book which has been on my shelf for a whopping ten years. I'm not sure why it's taken me this long to read it, but I'll thank Robin's Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge for encouraging me to stop buying new books and read the ones I have! Here's a brief … Continue reading Review: Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips
What does every alternative version of history have, from steampunk to dystopias? Airships, of course! In fact, I've just finished reading Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series and airships feature in that world too. For some reason, the minute history changes, these great elephants of the air hear their calling and come running. First, a little history. … Continue reading Steampunk: Airships
Two of the most stressful things you can do is move house and start a new job. In December, I decided to do both. I have a philosophy that if you have several hard things to do, do them at the same time because how bad can it be, really? Hum... Well, I've finally finished … Continue reading Where do you write?
This is another historical nonfiction novel by Erik Larson, who's really a wonderful writer in this genre. This book I listened to on audiobook and in retrospect, I'm glad I did. It's pretty dense and I imagine can be difficult to plough through. The Devil in the White City follows the lives of two men. … Continue reading Review: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
'The Eyre Affair has been on my list to read for years and I've only just got round to it! I'm a massive Terry Pratchett fan and I've been trying to find another quirky creative author to fill the void. Alas, I'm not sure Jasper Fforde is going to be it. The Eyre Affair is … Continue reading Review: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
After I posted my Writing Resolutions a couple of weeks ago, Robin sent me a link to her blog where she's hosting the Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge. It looks like an amazing way to commit to more reading, though I'm sceptical... will I really manage the 52 books this year? Hum... I mean, … Continue reading Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge
This Saturday, I saw Hamilton at the Victoria Palace. I’ve been dying to see it since it opened on Broadway in 2015. The hype of its arrival in London has been infectious and I was trying desperately not to be too excited, worried it wouldn’t live up to the incredible praise it’s received. After all, … Continue reading Review: Hamilton
I've never believed in New Year's Resolutions because they simply don't work! There's a good reason why every article out there which talks about New Year's Resolutions also adds some helpful advice on how to stick to them. If there's anyone out there who has made a Resolution and kept to it for longer than … Continue reading Writing Resolutions of 2018
This is technically part two of my Frankenstein post which I published here on Friday in honour of the 200th anniversary of this book. But there was so much to talk about with this particular character, I thought he deserved a Never Underestimate post! Something I’ve always found fascinating about Frankenstein’s many and various adaptations … Continue reading Never Underestimate… the Igor
Monday marked the 200th year anniversary of the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, was published anonymously on 1st January 1818. It was famously born from a dream and written for a ‘ghost story challenge’ at the Villa Diodati in the summer of 1816 in the company of Lord Byron, Percy … Continue reading It’s the 200th Anniversary of Frankenstein
How can you tell if your favourite character is, in fact, a manipulative bastard? This character, for me, will forever be judged against the standards of Shakespeare's Iago. Has your character manipulated his friend into a bar brawl so he gets demoted? Convinced his wife to steal a handkerchief he later plants on said friend … Continue reading Never underestimate… the Iago.
Let's talk about the weather. Here in England, we had a massive snowfall last weekend. For those of you living in Canada, or Japan or some parts of America like New Hampshire and Alaska, I imagine you'd wonder why this is post worthy. But you've got to understand, we Brits can't handle the weather. Like over-excited … Continue reading Using and abusing our weather-beaten words
Apologies - another Steampunk post has been so long in coming! The story I'm currently working on is a sci-fi so, frankly, my head has been filled with space rather than steam. But here's the next Steampunk installment. If you want to learn about the origins of Steampunk, or the where and when, click on … Continue reading Steampunk: Artifical Limbs
Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie is currently playing at the London County Hall near Waterloo station. I managed to get a seat high in the gallery and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Leonard Vole, a young, good-looking and mild-mannered man is arrested for the murder of Emily French, a wealthy older woman. Already, you … Continue reading Review: Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie
To every math or science teacher whoever caught me writing stories when I was supposed to be learning; please rest assured, I’m regretting it now. Every time I ever muttered the well-worn phrase I’m never going to need to know this, I’m kicking myself. The fact is, I need a big book which tells you … Continue reading How to balance Science and Fiction?
Spoilers ahead for several series so beware! River Song in Doctor Who (played by Alex Kingston) There are so many amazing female characters in Doctor Who that it was a difficult choice, but River Song is a force of nature. As well as being a foil for the Doctor, an almost impossible feat as the man … Continue reading Top 10# Female Heroes of Television
I recently finished reading The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah. If you don't know, this is Sophie Hannah taking on the continuation novels of Agatha Christie's beloved Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. Approved by the Christie Estate and written by a very talent crime novelist who I had the chance to meet at Swanwick Summer Writing School. … Continue reading Never underestimate… the Watsons
A few weekends ago, I went to the Terry Pratchett Hisworld exhibition at the Salisbury Museum. I've been trying to write this post for a while since then, but it's been a difficult one. You might have seen it pop up in your feed before, with nothing written! ] The Salisbury Museum is, I imagine, usually a rather … Continue reading Review: Terry Pratchett Hisworld at the Salisbury Museum
I was sitting at my desk at around ten o’clock at night, knowing that I wouldn’t go to bed until I’d finished the next chapter, so hello two o’clock in the morning and I suddenly realized; writing is a terrible hobby. I could be rock climbing or surfing, but oh no. No sane person would … Continue reading Why do we write? Who can we blame?
A Spectral Revue There is nothing more tragic than the sight of a long-abandoned theatre. The old Acheron Theatre in the centre of the thriving city was due to be pulled down at the end of the month due to its extensive structural damage and health risks. But as David set the tripod legs down … Continue reading A Spectral Revue
Today, I'm going to very carefully try and explain how friends and family can help their tortured writers. I say carefully because I hope not to offend any well-meaning soul who has fallen into one of these traps! No, it really isn't. The writer has just spilled out their soul about their amazing idea. The … Continue reading The worst ways to help a writer
As I am ever behind the times, this is a book I've wanted to read since it came out in 2016. Finally! The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells written by Virginia MacGregor revolves around a family and the turmoil that is kicked up when the titular character, mother Norah, returns after six years of absence. Father … Continue reading Review: The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells by Virginia MacGregor