How to create empathy as a writer

Malcolm Muggeridge (an old English literateur) once said that George Orwell “was no good as a novelist, because he didn’t have the interest in character.” Well, I didn’t need to tell you who George Orwell was, so you may doubt the judgment of the largely forgotten Muggeridge. But I think he was very close to […]

My bogus bio

Here’s my latest post on the International Crime Authors Reality Check blog: Since you’re reading this, you don’t care who I am. So I can be anyone I like. At least, that’s what somebody wrote here recently. I posted on this blog a couple of weeks ago about Dashiell Hammett. I noted that, while a […]

A Gripping Read, or Gripping your Read

I’m delighted to present a guest blogger today whose terrific new novel STOP ME is out tomorrow. Richard Jay Parker was born in the same South Wales town as me, just around the corner from where my parents now live. In our different ways, clearly, the mean streets of Newport shaped a real pair of […]

Stranger than zinc bars and literary fiction

Foreign correspondents are always more enthusiastic about Beirut than about Amman. Just like critics prefer “literary” fiction to crime novels. It seems to me they’re both wrong, and for the same reasons. Visiting reporters always rave about Beirut. Mainly because there’s a very un-Middle Eastern nightlife there. Zinc bars. Beautiful girls in spaghetti-strap tops beside […]