Talent + effort = success

  What kind of effort does it take to get a first collection of stories published? There’s no one better to ask right now than Dan Powell. I’ve been a fan of Dan’s writing for a long time and he’s done me the honour of beta reading some of my stories. So I was delighted when […]

How to find story ideas

Where do I get my short story ideas from? Mainly I just make them up. But once in a while I’ll find something like this, an item in my local newspaper. What makes this the germ of a good story? For me, it’s not the fact that this arch criminal was trying to escape the […]

The strange power of the pen

Every year, when I take a summer holiday, the first items to go into my suitcase are always the same. I pack my notebook, a spare notebook, my pens, spare ink, a few pencils – my writing tools and accoutrements. And that’s where they stay – in the suitcase. I always think that when I’m […]

Bath time train story

I guess you might call this a ‘found story’.I overheard a girl on the train, talking on the phone to a friend.I wrote down what she said… “So we spent five hours talking about our relationship and I told him we were splitting up. He phoned me later and he’s in the bath, with his […]

Looking for inspiration in Limehouse

Just before Christmas I took a trip to Limehouse, part of London’s old docklands. I’m writing about the area for a project called 26 miles. Specifically, I’m writing about one mile of tarmac that runs through Limehouse. The idea behind the project is simple. Take the 26 miles of the official London Marathon route and […]

New story out

I had another story published by the good people at Metazen last week.  This one’s a bit special for me as I wrote the first draft when I was on my Dark Angels workshop in Spain. It was the “personal piece” that I read to my fellow writers on the last evening of the course. […]

How to sell books

An intriguing package arrived on my doormat yesterday from writer Sarah Salway. It was what I call “granny wrapped”, after my nan who wrapped all Christmas presents in several yards of impenetrable brown parcel tape. I needed a kitchen knife, scissors and patience to open it. But this was not a process I wanted to […]