Episodes in Literary Life 3: Crappy Jobs

(This continues my series of autobiographical vignettes, intended to demonstrate the neuroses, ambition, talent, chance, mischance, place, alcohol and attitude that go toward the creation of a writer. The tales may be instructive or proscriptive. This one concerns work –– something writing should never be.) In the summer after my second year at Oxford, I […]

Signing up

A book takes a long time to write, and then it takes a while to sell. And another while to sell in another country, and another after that. So a writer’s smile spreads across time. My long-term grin widened this weekend, when I signed with my UK publisher for my next two books. Not only […]

Soggy sheep at breakfast

I was under the impression that the English weren’t allowed into Wales any more, now that Tony Blair persuaded us we ought to have at least half a government of our own and let Westminster pay for it. I assume Colin Cotterill managed to make it through the border undercover on his Australian passport. Which […]

Bigmouth loves ‘Bethlehem Murders’

Me and My Big Mouth is the blog of the inimitable Scott Pack, the most innovative (and, to many, the most controversial) man in British publishing. We met a year ago in freezing Oslo, tramped through the snow to the Ibsen Museum, and generally had a great time. It’s possible we were the only teetotallers […]

Setting up an author blog

Because I’m such a hip and happening author, I’m redoing my blog. Actually, I’m not redoing it. My friend Harry’s doing it. He’s hip and happening (check out his photo and wish for his cool, Daddy-O). The point of the blog is to make me LOOK that way. Until now I’ve mused about the writing […]

Acknowledge no one

Here’s my latest post on the International Crime Authors Reality Check blog: Authors are posturing, self-aggrandizing assholes. At least, that’s the conclusion I’ve reached after noting the trend for excessive “Acknowledgements” growing like mold over page on page of nonfiction books. These days they’re spreading their blight all over novels, too. Here’s how I think […]