Arrival (2016)

Thinking about ARRIVAL in the days since I saw it, I’m trying to remember the last time I watched a sci-fi movie which started out smart and just kept getting smarter. Most sci-fi films start off with a good idea, a hook they use to reel the audience in with. But most of them are…

The Devil in the White City by Eric Larson

After East-End Jack, the only other Victorian serial killer people could name would probably be H.H. Holmes. The curious American doctor who built a crazy house in Chicago with gas chambers, hidden rooms and a furnace too big and too powerful for domestic use. So it’s somewhat bizarre that even though Holmes was caught and…

Me, Writing, in 2017

Thunderstorms at three AM are a good place to think about plotting. At the moment I have the typed draft of my new novel on the go, that's the project taking up most of my creative energies. But I also have my Welsh short story, which I am currently working on the first proper draft of;…

Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)

Given that I haven’t really watched any of the Hammer Dracula movies since I was a little kid, I'd forgotten that a lot of them don’t give the title character much to do. Most of them, to be fair, make better use of the character than DRACULA – PRINCE OF DARKNESS does, but still –…

Me, Writing, in 2017

In my new novel, there's a character I really adore. This week in rewriting, I reached the chapter where he first appears and to say I love writing for him is an understatement. I have a physical tingle of pleasure writing for him. His dialogue has a flourish, his arrogance comes with an entertaining sneer,…

The Dark Tower by Stephen KIng

Dear Stephen. First let me say, thank you. I’ve finally come to the end of the road to The Dark Tower and I just wanted to express my thanks for the path travelled. I’ll be honest with you, it was a path I resisted for years and years. In my childhood I had a bad…

Me, Writing, in 2017

I finished the first draft of my Welsh story! First drafts, particularly really rough initial drafts like this one currently is, are as much about what isn’t there as what is. At the start you have the notion of a plot, or a story, or of themes you want to explore. You have some characters.…

Angel of the Abyss by Ed Kurtz

Undoubtedly, it’s because I read too much Raymond Chandler when I was young, before moving on to read too much James Ellroy, but the sub-genre I love most is probably the Hollywood-set murder mystery/thriller. What I find so fascinating is the mixture of that impossible Technicolor glamour, with tawdry and brutal crime. It’s the tearing…