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The Nurse Who Would Not Meet My Eye

The nurse would not meet my eye. Somehow that seemed fraught with meaning. “I am so dead,” I thought. I stood outside the door of my oncology consultant. The waiting area behind me had a central garden with a fountain in it. Dozens of men and women sat patiently marking time before attending the periodic  life-or-death consultations […]

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The Mouth

A playlist of music that loosely influenced “The Mouth”

“The Mouth” is out now. To celebrate, here are some songs that vaguely inspired it. This playlist is available on Spotify 1. “Slow boat to China” performed by Freddy Martin. It didn’t survive the final draft but this was playing on the gramaphone in the collaborator’s living room. 2. “I Fought the Law” by the Bobby Fuller Four. The Clash […]

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Literature Writing

The Characters are Ruining It

It’s probably not going to be an Internet-breaking observation that characters can sometimes seem to take on a life of their own when you are writing fiction. Writing day-in and day- out for months some characters (more often primary than secondary) start to become almost as “real” to you as anyone else in your life. […]

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The Mouth

Some Interesting Locations In “The Mouth”

A few locations that inspired my new novel (and thus became imaginary places whose similarities to actual real places are entirely co-incidental) The Maunsell Sea Forts The Maunsell Sea Forts are armed towers built in the Thames and Mersey estuaries during the Second World War. The Red Sands Fort is in the book. There are six anti-aircraft towers situated nine […]

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Literature

Triumph of the Goths!

Gothic was named after the Visigoths, the barbarian European tribes who defeated and sacked Ancient Rome. The eighteenth-century European enlightenment looked to Rome as a model of order and refinement. The Visigoths were seen as crude and irrational –their world-view grounded in romance and folklore. Horace Walpole, whose 1764 novel “The Castle of Otranto” ushered […]