My Top Ten non-horror films #4

4 – APOCALYPSE NOW (1979) Is it ambition or is it excess or is it insanity? Perhaps the last truly epic film, the making of which is as fascinating as the feature itself. It’s film that begs to be seen on a big screen with the sound ramped up. It’s trippy and frightening, and it […]

Read More My Top Ten non-horror films #4

My Top Ten non-horror films #5

5 – NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007) Virtually indistinct from the excellent Cormac McCarthy novel, this Coen brothers film introduces you to a monster to equal, if not best, anything seen on the big screen before. Hannibal Lecter? Anton Chigurh makes you look like the pussy cat you are. A wonderful, brave film, with great […]

Read More My Top Ten non-horror films #5

…from my cold, dead hands

Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Dylan Thomas Many of us have jobs. Full-time jobs, part-time jobs, weekend jobs, holiday jobs. I’ve done my fair share of grim jobs. I’ve delivered pizza. I’ve worked in […]

Read More …from my cold, dead hands

Doorstep Horror

This post originally appeared at the Mulholland Books website in September 2010, shortly before my crime novel, Blonde on a Stick, was published. October 1977. I’m eight years old. Dad’s at work. I’m sitting at home hunched over a chessboard waiting for him. White and black plastic. Pawns and pieces on a foldout board fraying […]

Read More Doorstep Horror

My Top Ten non-horror films #6

6 – BLADE RUNNER (1982) Forget the cliché-ridden voiceover that sounded as if it was phoned in by Harrison Ford. Forget too the happy ending with its bolted-on footage from The Shining. Go for the Director’s Cut. Lean, moody, brutal and brilliant. SF-noir at its most seductive: grimily gorgeous, with a match-made-in-heaven score by Vangelis. I […]

Read More My Top Ten non-horror films #6

My Top Ten non-horror films #7

7 – BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969) Having watched this and Marathon Man and discovering they were written by the same guy, William Goldman, and not only that but he wrote novels as well, I tracked down many of his books and pigged out on them one summer (I even read Tinsel, for […]

Read More My Top Ten non-horror films #7

My Top Ten non-horror films #8

8 – SEXY BEAST (2000) Okay, so it has touches of horror in the shape of that desiccated rabbit… and Ben Kingsley’s turn as sweary psychopath Don Logan puts him very firmly in the human monster category, but this film is more like a modern-day farce. Ray Winstone is the ex-pat crim persuaded to do […]

Read More My Top Ten non-horror films #8

Word Count Dependency

I tend to measure my day-to-day progress on a project by the number of words I’ve accrued. It’s easy, straightforward, quantifiable. You know where you stand. If you’re in the hunt for an agent or a publisher, the likelihood is their guidelines will tell you you need to write between 70 – 100,000 words (probably […]

Read More Word Count Dependency

My Top Ten non-horror films… #10

I’ve been thinking recently about the influences that have helped shape me as a writer since I began trying to do it seriously, over <cough> twenty-five <cough> years ago. I’d like to share with you the books and films that have made their mark on me. Interestingly (or not, depending on your point of view), […]

Read More My Top Ten non-horror films… #10