Blank Pages, Kind Words, Publisher of the Year

The year is winding down which means in Japan the temperature has dropped at least ten degrees overnight and the hot-water bottles have come out of storage. The Japanese claim to have four seasons but really spring and autumn are just transitional periods between an insanely hot and humid summer and a winter colder thanContinue reading “Blank Pages, Kind Words, Publisher of the Year”

Happy People Have No Stories

They (specifically Christopher Booker) say there are only seven basic plots (overcoming the monster, rags to riches, the quest, voyage and return, comedy, tragedy, and rebirth, since you ask). Considering the sheer amount of stories that have been told over the millennia humanity has entertained and educated itself with fiction, that might seem┬ásurprising. We’re usedContinue reading “Happy People Have No Stories”

Mission Accomplished (again).

It is done. My novel, The Wasting Embers, is done. Many of my friends will be thinking “but you’ve said that a number of times before?” I have, it is true, claimed this novel to be complete more times than Bush claimed “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq, and with as much accuracy. This time it isContinue reading “Mission Accomplished (again).”

The Ballachulish Goddess

As usual I have been busy going in several directions at once. My biggest weakness as a writer is finishing things. I’m much better than I used to be. It wasn’t until I was doing my Creative Writing MPhil that I actually started finishing pieces rather than just stopping them, and since then I’ve learnedContinue reading “The Ballachulish Goddess”

Staring Down the Barrel of a Rewrite

The course of a novel never did run smooth. I first had the idea for this novel while I was at university (oh so many years ago). I originally envisaged it as being a thinly-veiled fictional reportage of my grandfather’s World War 2 experiences. Then I realised that wasn’t enough to sustain a book andContinue reading “Staring Down the Barrel of a Rewrite”