Writing and branding – a practical lesson in extreme interests

I’ve got a bit of a brand problem. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in all sorts of things. I began my academic career with music, physics and cosmology, interests I’ve kept up without relent. I have degree qualifications in anthropology and still pursue my life-long interest in human evolutionary paths. … More Writing and branding – a practical lesson in extreme interests

Somebody is illegally advertising non-existent pirate copies of my books

I discovered a web page last month alleging that my book Guns and Utu (Penguin 2011) was available for free PDF download from a company named Playster. According to the page I found, some 2048 copies had reportedly been downloaded in the last month. This was odd: I hold the copyrights and publishing license. Neither … More Somebody is illegally advertising non-existent pirate copies of my books

Musings on the directions of mid-career writers

US author Chuck Wendig pointed out the other day that virtually all the ‘writing advice’ these days is about getting started. There’s nothing much offered for what he calls ‘mid career’ writers, in particular about what direction they want their career to take. I have to agree with that. Although I don’t like the term, … More Musings on the directions of mid-career writers

In which I discover the Hemingway Writing App

I am deeply cynical about automatic writing analysis – you know, those annoying online systems that ‘mark’ your writing for various arbitrary flaws. Take the Hemingway Writing app. It’s an online tool that ‘makes your writing bold and clear’, according to its own blurb. So I thought I’d write a short test passage which – curiously – got top … More In which I discover the Hemingway Writing App

The hazards of my popular name – and my book about someone else who had one

I went into single combat with Google the other week. They’ve persistently credited all my books to a lecturer in Classics at Exeter University who has the same name as me. To their credit, Google came back promptly with an informative answer which I’ll be acting on by way of getting the gaffe fixed. I’m … More The hazards of my popular name – and my book about someone else who had one