Funeral poem

A few years ago I wrote a funeral poem for general use. Grief and death are important topics for me, largely because of losing my brother many years ago. My brother was not religious. In fact my whole family were atheists. It was hard to find something suitable to read at his funeral. So many […]Read More »

"You" = "One" = "Me"

One morning you wake up and you think, Okay, enough is enough. I am going to do the thing that scares me. I am going to ask for help. You hate asking for anything. But especially help. You have spent years being strong and capable. The times you asked for help and were refused (way back in […]Read More »

Authors and the Truth About Money

The Rich Writer Myth One of the biggest myths about becoming a successful novelist is that it means you must be rolling in it. ‘Six-figure-advance’ trips off the tongue very easily, as if it were normal. ‘Royalties’ sounds juicy. Money: still something that people who want to write a novel want to write a novel for. […]Read More »

Further Developments with The Marlowe Papers

filming trailer for The Marlowe Papers stage versionThis week, I had the huge privilege to be present at the filming of a trailer for our stage adaptation of The Marlowe Papers. A high quality affair thanks to professional film company Drop Dead Films, who have all the right gear (HD cameras, jibs etc.) and who offered their services after seeing the play during its […]Read More »

Fear of Failure - and How It Makes Us Play Small

Fear of failure is the block that comes up more often than any other when I am working with writers. It is the holding category for about the half the content of ‘Write the Damn Book!‘ It is the bucket into which writers can throw a great deal of their negative self-talk:  what if it’s rubbish? what […]Read More »

The Marlowe Papers on Stage - Jamie Martin as Kit

The first run of the Marlowe Papers opens in Brighton on Tuesday 26th January 2016. It’s on for just five days, with the final night on Saturday 30th. The director is my friend Nicola Haydn, who helped me adapt this one-man version from the book. The adaptation was no mean feat: the audio book version […]Read More »

Roundup of the Year 2015

The Year In Brief If you have limited time to spend with me, or a short attention span, here is my year in terms of firsts. Because firsts always mean you are moving forward (unless they are shit ones… no, even if they are shit ones). First… appearance on Woman’s Hour review in the Times […]Read More »

Marlowe Event, Oxford Blackwells

Thursday 28th May 7pm – 8.30pm Blackwells, Oxford To coincide with the Bodleian’s Marks of Genius exhibition (which displays, among other things, Edmund Malone’s quarto of Marlowe’s The Tragicall History of Doctor Faustus I’ll be reading from The Marlowe Papers and talking about Marlowe.  If you’re in the area, do come along – it’s free!  Includes […]Read More »

Book Stoppers: What's the Point?

I wonder how many books have never seen the light of day, because the potential author of that book kept thinking “What’s the point?”  Whether you secretly think it (perhaps so secretly that you keep it from yourself) or whether you find yourself sighing out loud when you sit down to write, “What’s the point?” […]Read More »

On Not Writing

He wrote with all the inventive precision of a young Vladimir Nabokov. Every piece he submitted was thrilling to read. As his tutors, we discussed our most promising student over after-work drinks; wondered if we might be named in his acknowledgements, looked forward to being invited to his book launch. Shift to the present tense. […]Read More »

Writing Style

On April 14th I’m talking about writing style at Senate House in London, as part of the Open University’s Contemporary Cultures of Writing series.  I’m hoping to attend at least one of the other events in the series, too.  I’ll be talking about the difference between academic and creative writing styles. I switch between the two […]Read More »

Writing Retreat in France - Summer 2015

Writers: Escape to France! Writing Retreat 28th June – 3rd July 2015 Come and spend a week with me in the Dordogne this summer on a fully-catered writing retreat. Each morning there will be workshops focusing on some of the key elements of good fiction.  Then we break for lunch, usually by the pool if the […]Read More »

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