Tag Archives: theme

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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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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The Sad Demolition of the King’s Head, Old Vine and Windmill

The Angel  is partly set in an outwardly idyllic English country pub — thatched roof, low beams, flagstoned floors and looking out through its mullioned windows on to the village green with its cricket pitch and duck pond. It’s a … Continue reading

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Alexis Cole — Transcendence

One of the questions that recurs in my novel is the importance of  location — especially for artists.In my novel Kim is a German artist who has arrived to London from Berlin in the expectation that it’s the place to … Continue reading

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In-Out, In-Out, Shake It All About?

The Hokey Cokey seems to possess the same level of serious reasoning as did last week’s  unconvincing and desperately tactical David Cameron  speech on an ‘in-out’ referendum on British membership of the EU. His gambling with the country’s political relationship with … 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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‘The Geiger Counter of Olympomania is Going to Go Zoink Off the Scale’

…as Boris Johnson inimitably said last night in Hyde Park — before his brilliant put-down of Mitt Romney. Well, my Olympomania Geiger counter has been building up to Zoink steadily over the last few weeks but Boris’s ‘Are we ready?’ speech seems … Continue reading

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Time Out With London’s Lucky Kunsts

When I started writing the novel there were certain themes that I thought I was fairly knowledgeable about: pubs, for example — I knew a lot about those. And food. And London geography and the pleasures of the Chilterns. And Germany … Continue reading

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Gesamtkunstwerk

The title of this post is a German word that’s been adopted into English usage in the art world and translates roughly as total artwork — which I suppose is similar to the concept of total football as played by … Continue reading

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Voice

There’s a lot of discussion in creative writing courses about how authors can find their voice. It’s quite a difficult concept to articulate — most simplistically it’s what defines the distinctiveness of an author’s style. This may, depending on the … Continue reading

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What Happens in Vegas…

…ends up in my novel. This may be something of a surprise seeing as most of it is set in an English country pub which, apart from the copious amounts of booze drunk, is probably one of the places least … Continue reading

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SFMoMA

It’s not some sort of weird business school acronym but the local shorthand for one of the best art galleries in the US — the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It’s a little confusing as, according to the guidebooks, … Continue reading

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Fields Inspired by Eric Ravilious

One of my favourite paintings — and one that is very germane to The Angel’s setting is John Nash’s The Cornfield, which I’ve blogged about previously. It’s relatively well-known, providing a motif for David Dimbleby’s BBC series on landscape painting a … Continue reading

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Art for Art’s Sake?

I’m not sure about Kim’s personal taste in modern art but with her training she’d be sure to be able to hold forth about Cy Twombly, the American painter who died last week, and was the subject of some posts on … Continue reading

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My Other Magnum Opus

Apart from the two novels in progress I’ve also authored a more prosaic volume over the past fifteen months or so. And — spit on me now — I’ve decided to self-publish it. I don’t have much capital so it’s … Continue reading

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Happy Valley

When it’s dry enough I go running up the steep northern slopes of the Chilterns and along the top of the escarpment — and the ground is so dry at the moment I have no excuse not to. I’d like … Continue reading

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One Day I Went to Listen To David Nicholls

I’m rather late in posting about this but last week I went along to the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival at Christ Church College, Oxford. I was hoping to spend the best part of a day there but one session … Continue reading

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The Zeitgeist of the Segnits

I wandered into Waterstone’s in Staines (of past Ali G fame) a couple of weeks ago and was magnetically drawn to a book called Pub Walks in Underhill Country by Nat Segnit, which had the good fortune for a debut novel, … Continue reading

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Schumpeter on the Art of Management

My ex-City coursemate Michael Braga shares with me a love of The Economist newspaper that must be very unusual among writers — many of whom probably consider its readers as the evil spawn of the global capital machine. I must … Continue reading

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Good Night on BBC2

A couple of novel-related programmes on BBC2 tonight. The Great Outdoors is a short series that was on BBC4 last year. It’s about a group of ramblers enjoying the countryside and features Ruth Jones of Gavin and Stacey fame and … Continue reading

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