OMOHO

Lancaster University, 1993. I’m in a class. It’s the creative writing MA. My tutor is Alan Burns. He wrote Europe After the Rain, Babel, Dreamerika! He was one of a group of experimental writers knocking around in the 1960s which included BS Johnson. Alan used to talk about cut-ups a lot. And he was fond of this exercise: choose …

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Sonata of the Dead: Teaser #3

‘Joel, I think you need help.’ ‘I need help? I’m not the one who killed in cold blood. I’m not the one who took photographs of naked women in changing rooms and then tossed off over them back in his sad pad.’ ‘No. But it’s a sunny day. And you chose to come and sit …

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Sonata of the Dead: Teaser #2

I was on the M6 within twenty minutes. The motorway was uncommonly quiet, just a smattering of lorries and cars, maybe a dozen or so in total. It was getting on for seven o’clock. Clouds were piled like wet grey towels. My dad died when I was twelve years old. He dropped dead in a …

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The Napoleon of Crime

Yesterday I discovered that my story, Rosenlaui, will be included in Constable & Robinson's forthcoming The Mammoth Book of Professor Moriarty Adventures, edited by the venerable Maxim Jakubowski. The story concerns events in Meiringen, Switzerland, on the eve of that momentous confrontation at the Reichenbach Falls. This is only the second time I've ever written a …

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Fancy meeting you here…

Getting certain characters together in fiction without any hint of contrivance is a challenge for any writer. In Sonata of the Dead, my WIP, I’ve got my lead character, a PI named Joel Sorrell, who needs to link up with another character, a woman with whom he will develop a strong working relationship (and maybe more besides). I …

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