Posted: February 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: authors, events | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

The Game is Altered was launched on 8th February. It was a good party. Lots of friends and family came along and the wine flowed freely. Here are some pictures from the night.

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Skyros Writers’ Lab

Posted: July 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: courses, diary, events, writing | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Thursday 21 July – Sunday 31 July: Aspects of Novel-writing

Skyros Centre, Greece

The beautiful Greek island of Skyros is home to the world-famous Writers’ Lab (rated as one of the very best creative writing holiday destinations). Nestling on the hillside at the edge of Skyros village the Writers’ Lab is a stone’s throw from the village’s cobbled streets and restaurants and ten minutes walk from the long, sandy beach. Later this month I’ll be running a ten-day course at the centre aimed at developing writers – from beginners to those with a finished novel under their belt. We will cover aspects of novel-writing such as plot, structure, character, voice, as well as the nitty-gritty of prose-style. I will be offering feedback on individual projects and advice on how to find representation and getting published.

The cost is £945 (not including transport). Booking is made through the Skyros website.

Coventry Words

Posted: October 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: events, writing | Tags: , | No Comments »

This is a bit late in the day – but the Coventry Creative Writing Team at Coventry University are launching a new magazine for Creative Writing students – Coventry Words.If you can’t come along, visit the website. Or, if you are a creative writer, you can email submissions to

The launch is on Friday 22nd October 5pm – Waterstones – beside the Lanchester Library:

7537-10 Coventry Words Launch flyer-posterv2

Me for free and a £5 coffee

Posted: September 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: events, writing | Tags: , | No Comments »

Warwick Words – Festival of Literature and the Spoken Word is coming up fast. It’s the first event I’ve done where people have to pay. It’s been 18 months or so since Among Thieves was published and I’ve given readings in bookshops, libraries, town halls, at reading groups and, once or twice, in grand rooms with high ceilings and marble floors. But every event so far has been free, except this one. I don’t know why I’m anxious about it. But I’m wondering, will anyone be prepared to pay – for me?

warwick wordsI know a couple of good friends are coming (God – they can get me for free any time – they can barely shut me up – but thank you friends, thank you). Anyway, if you have a spare fiver and you’re in the vicinity of Warwick on October 5th – come and buy an expensive coffee – and get me thrown in. I might even be persuaded to read a couple of pages of the new novel.

Tuesday 5 October
Warwick Arms  Hotel

Book online from The Bridge House Theatre website

London night

Posted: August 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: authors, events, writing | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Down to The Smoke last night for the writLOUD event and a bit of a gad about town with an old friend, a banker, my daughter and her lover. Had a blast – but the best ‘lit bit’ was a reading by John Lucas – an MA student on Birkbeck’s Creative Writing MA. He read his story – Becoming Marc Almond – and it did it for me. Have a read and see what you think.

Met some lovely people, including Jill McGivering, who also read a moving passage from her new novel The Last Kestrel (you can read a good chunk of it here). I started the book this morning and I’m halfway through (I got some reading time thanks to various train journeys) and so far it’s pretty compelling stuff.

Thanks to James Vincent and the writLOUD crew.

Reading at writLOUD

Posted: August 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: authors, events | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

writloud_logo_75percentI’ll be reading at writLOUD on August 9th. writLOUD is a monthly readings event showcasing both new writers from Birkbeck’s Creative Writing courses and established authors.

I’ll be reading from my novel Among Thieves, and I’ll be joined by Jill McGivering who’ll be reading from her first novel, The Last Kestrel – ‘a deeply compassionate and thoughtful novel, written with the humanity that is a trademark of her reporting’ (Fergal Keane). Jill is a Birkbeck, MACW alumnus and BBC senior foreign news correspondent.

There will also be readings from Matthew Wright, Azra Hussain and John Lucas.

Admission is free of charge, but with a suggested donation to Oxfam of £3.50.

To reserve places in advance, email or rock up at RADA Foyer Bar, Malet Street, London WC1E 7JN Monday 9 August 2010, 6.30-8.15 pm

Coventry Inspires

Posted: June 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: authors, events | Tags: , | No Comments »

Among Thieves was the winning book in the Murder and Mayhem section of the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards and on 16th of June I went along to St Mary’s Guildhall in Coventry for the awards ceremony.

The whole thing began with a civic reception, hosted by Coventry’s Mayor. Then there were photos of all the winning authors in strange local-paper-styleee poses. And finally there were the awards themselves.

The event was a resounding success and Joy Court, Learning Resources Manager at Coventry City Council and organiser of the awards, had gathered a brilliant crowd of schoolchildren, teachers, library personal and book lovers, as well as several of the winning authors.

Jackdaw with Crowbar: The return

Posted: March 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

jwclivestillAfter a pause of eighteen years my friend and one time musical collaborator, Tim Ellis, has instigated the return of Jackdaw with Crowbar, the seminal multi media group. The group were pioneers in the field of multi projection film montage as performance with live music in the eighties and early nineties. Tim said:

Back then we had a group of up to eight musicians and three projectionist film makers, we were entirely analogue using 8mm film and actual musical instruments or sound devices. This time round three of us are using modern technology to create a new set of material. I can recollect many occasions on tour when one of the film makers would be editing in the back of the truck because the films used to break from repeated use at concerts. Now we use laptops and digital  projectors so in theory its more stable, and brighter. Although we miss the texture, depth and colour of film we are spoilt by the immediacy of working in digital.

Live performance warm up set:
22nd March 8pm
KoKo’s Bar
45 Warwick Street
Leamington Spa
CV32 5JX

Live Performance – Flatpack Festival by 7 Inch Cinema:
27th March 9pm
140 Heath Mill Lane
B9 4AR

Flatpack is an annual festival providing a platform for new filmmakers and moving image creativity together with a playful and original programme of cult classics re-imagined, silent cinema re-scored and material re-invented.

Hope to see you there!

Aye Write!

Posted: March 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: authors, events, prizes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »
Mitchell Library Glasgow

Mitchell Library Glasgow

I’m off to Scotland tomorrow to Aye Write! Glasgow’s Book Festival. I will be reading in The Burns Room at the Mitchell Library – and this will be followed by the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize announcement at 6pm.

The event is free and from the website looks as if it’s open to all – but if you don’t fancy that then the most talented AL Kennedy is giving a talk at 7pm in the same building.

I’m nervous. The building looks rather large. I wonder, if you spend a lot of time in buildings that are grand and imposing do you begin to think of yourself as grand too? Maybe this is explains why people who live in cities often think they are more sophisticated than the rest of us – they can’t help themselves, it’s simply their environment. Whatever, I don’t spend much time in grand buildings. I prefer a small room, with a desk, and a stack of books, several pens, some paper and a computer – oh and I’d like a view one day – onto a garden or the sea. Yes, I am nervous. Wish me luck.

Have a Heart for Haiti

Posted: February 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: events | Tags: , | No Comments »
Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Some good friends of mine have organised this benefit gig for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. There will be theatre (slapstick panto from OTFM), drumming from the amazing Saskia and Vieux Bakayoko, DJs and live music. Worth going for the talent alone but most importantly because all proceeds will go to Haiti via the Lambi fund.

Gig: Have a Heart for Haiti
When: Friday 19th February at 7pm
Where: The NEW Bath Place Community Venture (Old Library on Avenue Road)
Cost: £4