Category Archives: Influences

Paris Mon Amour — A Review

Rarely can a novel have been so appropriately titled as Isabel Costello’s Paris Mon Amour. The city is so evocatively described it becomes one of the characters (Paris: Mon Amour, perhaps?). Also, the novel explores the contrasting romantic mores of … Continue reading

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Something Rhymed

My ex-tutor from the City University course, Emma Sweeney, has been running a blog Something Rhymed, with her colleague Emily Midorikawa. Its theme is the exploration of friendships between pairs of female writers and the support they’ve given each other, often in … Continue reading

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Prince Filtered

Another major figure in rock music passed away last week. Unlike the subject of the last post, Sir George Martin, Prince died at the depressingly young age of 57. Perhaps by demographics or coincidence, Prince was one of the extraordinary number of popular music … Continue reading

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In His Life

I don’t normally join in with all the RIPs messages on Facebook and Twitter and so on that follow the deaths of well-known people. However, George Martin, who died recently at the age of 90, was an exception. It’s indisputable … Continue reading

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The Long Road from Rebel Rebel to Hero

The media last week was dominated by the sad death of David Bowie. Television specials and special printed tributes were ubiquitous, packed with quotations from figures from all walks of life — not only musicians and artists but the most … Continue reading

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Light in the Darkness

It’s been a long, wet, miserably dull December and now Christmas is over, here’s something bright and colourful to illuminate the darkness. It’s an art installation called …—… SOS (the name will make sense if you watch the video) which is … Continue reading

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Fish, Chips and A Pint of Ale

I caught the start of one of those property ogling TV programmes yesterday. A pair of high-flying lawyers wanted to move out of their flat overlooking St. Paul’s to live a life of bucolic bliss in the New Forest. While the … Continue reading

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Cereal Offenders

Shoreditch was in the news last weekend when the organisers of the ‘Fuck Parade’ pelted the Cereal Killer Café at the hipster end of Brick Lane with ‘paint and cereal’. This must be one of the first times that Cornflakes … Continue reading

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Three Years Later

Around this time of year, back in 2012, I wrote a number of blog posts that were tangentially-related to my writing, celebrated that London felt like it was the centre of the world due to hosting the Olympics and Paralympics. (Imho … Continue reading

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December is for Displacement Activity

No wonder NaNoWriMo (see last post) is held in November. Getting 5,000 words down, let alone 50,000, in December would be a challenge for me. I wonder whether all writers regard December as a  month to (apologies for the pun) … Continue reading

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My Guest Post on the Romantic Novelists’ Association Blog!

My last blog post, about my happy experiences with the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) New Writers’ Scheme (NWS), was read by several of the committee of the RNA itself and they were so interested in the post and my thoughts … Continue reading

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This Woman’s Work

Warning: contains a few set-list spoilers and lengthy, unrestrained, gushing sentimentality and a few misty-eyed personal reminiscences.   We knew we were on Row E — so good seats — five rows back, obviously. So we counted backwards as we walked … Continue reading

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Le Grand Départ

My novel is set partly in London (the City and über cool Shoreditch) where you only have to walk down the street or take a bus to realise there’s an abundance of non-native inhabitants. And it doesn’t need a UKIP party political … Continue reading

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The Tree That Once Belonged to Bob Hoskins (and Other Odd Connections)

The last post loosely took the E.M.Forster quotation ‘only connect’ and asked if this might be at the basis of some of the creative process — can originality be fostered by stuffing your subconscious full of stimulating ideas and experiences … Continue reading

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Only Connect

My English teacher in the sixth form introduced me to ‘only connect’ — the famous E.M.Forster quotation — not the addictive BBC4 quiz show with Victoria Coren (although the latter is inspired by the former). The implications of those two … Continue reading

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A Bit of Sex on the Literary Sofa

I didn’t intend to write this post but I was making a comment on Isabel Costello’s blog On The Literary Sofa and it became so long that I thought it would be an imposition to post on her blog in … Continue reading

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Eurovision, Bowie and Homogeneity

It’s been so long since the last post I’ve taken inspiration from the chiller at the end of the aisle in my local Tesco and have produced three posts for the price of one. Last Saturday night, primed after a … Continue reading

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Point of View

  The point from which this view can be seen is unique — with that tremendous triangular shadow — and it’s only been open a week. I must have been very lucky to have caught a moment where the sun … Continue reading

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There’s Nothing Quite Like A Flaming Pudding

My novel has a lot of food in it — and probably one of the most consistent pieces of feedback that I’ve received from the many and varied people who’ve been kind enough to read parts of the manuscript (or … Continue reading

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Know What You Write

I’ve recently been writing a new scene for the novel involving street art. As readers of the blog will know, I’ve spent plenty of time recently learning about street art and observing it around Shoreditch (on Thursday this week I was … Continue reading

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