I was stopped in the street a little while ago by someone who said he’d recognised me from the TV documentary series I appeared in a few years ago. I presume from the re-run just finished. It turned out he’d bought some of my books and was quite a fan. He liked the idea of… More Why, as a writer, I am wary of strangers bearing smiles
Book titles are funny things. They have to distil the essence of the book into just a few words – words that are instantly captivating to a potential buyer. And therein lies the challenge for anybody trying to create one. Commercial publishers are adept at getting the ‘captivating’ side right, which is why commercial publishing… More How to find the best book titles ever!
I just read Andy Weir’s The Martian. Woah! Awesome! And yeah, I know I’m six months late. But hey… It’s a classic author success story. He self-pubbed on Amazon – then was picked up for mainstream print release and an A-list movie. I haven’t seen the movie yet. But what Weir has achieved is wonderful!… More Three things to learn from Andy Weir’s ‘The Martian’
The other day I decided to list all the skills that I think writers need – especially if they’re to thrive in the modern world. Needless to say there are a lot of them. To me they break down into broad families, each of which has a lot of sub-skills, which I haven’t listed. But… More The top ten writing skills that writers really need
What sort of music best captures the feel of your writing? I don’t mean ‘what do you listen to when writing’ – I mean, if your writing were music, what would the style be? Blues? Jazz? Funk? Classical? Musique concrete? And does that music change with different writing? Mine does. Call it literary kinesthesia. It’s… More What sort of music captures your writing?
One of the things I dislike about writing is the side-effect – public profile. It’s not why I write. In fact, I really would prefer to be anonymous. But I have to have a profile if I’m to sell any books. For me that’s a bit of a balancing act. It’s important to sell books… More The paradox of staying under the public radar as a writer
The great musical producer George Martin’s death last week apparently led to rumours that the other George Martin – the one with the same middle initials as Tolkien – had also met his demise. Of course George R R Martin is very much alive. Still, that underscores the point that people with the same names… More George Martin’s death name mix-up is a risk for every author with a common name