13 November 2011 0 Comments

Newport stories — Flash Nonfiction

I was asked to participate in an art project called Ffresh: the Student Moving Image Festival of Wales, which rotates from town to town in Wales. This year it’s in my hometown, Newport. The brief was to write a 50 word factual story about some aspect of the town. My story and those by others […]

30 December 2010 0 Comments

Hometown ‘paper, and year’s best books

No matter how many profiles and reviews an author gets, the first time in his hometown newspaper is a special one. So I’m delighted to have been profiled this week in the South Wales Argus, which is published in Newport. It’s a fine article by Alison Sanders, an Argus reporter, and it includes my liking […]

4 November 2010 0 Comments

Gentleman and thug: researching my new historical novel

One of the great pleasures of novel-writing is the research which, for almost every book, ought to bring the writer to investigate different areas of inquiry. To become a swift expert in something others might spend all their lives studying. That’s why I’ve taken up my sword.

29 July 2010 3 Comments

Memo to Oliver Stone

In Israel, the Jews control the banks! They fill all the top positions in the media! They are behind all the major political powerbrokers! They even print the money! Someone should look into this, Oliver, because I don’t think it’s just coincidence, and I know you’ll agree. I think you’re the man to expose it.

23 June 2010 7 Comments

Soggy sheep at breakfast

I was under the impression that the English weren’t allowed into Wales any more, now that Tony Blair persuaded us we ought to have at least half a government of our own and let Westminster pay for it. I assume Colin Cotterill managed to make it through the border undercover on his Australian passport. Which […]

17 June 2010 1 Comment

Cheers for Hitler, and Brits go home

The company you keep can put the culture around you in a new light, let you see it as you haven’t before. That’s true when I travel to different countries and discover that readers in Germany have a particular take on my Palestinian crime novels which differs from the way they look to Americans, for […]

10 June 2010 1 Comment

Save me, Middle Eastern ladies, from the nightmare of the World Cup

The women of the Middle East are about to save me from the greatest banality known to man. I’m counting on them to care as little about the the World Cup as I do and to keep me entertained until men can once again talk about something other than Wayne Rooney’s groin.

27 May 2010 4 Comments

How to create empathy as a writer

Malcolm Muggeridge (an old English literateur) once said that George Orwell “was no good as a novelist, because he didn’t have the interest in character.” Well, I didn’t need to tell you who George Orwell was, so you may doubt the judgment of the largely forgotten Muggeridge. But I think he was very close to […]

20 May 2010 0 Comments

Jimmy Carter, apartheid, hemorrhoids and Matt Beynon Rees

I often receive emails from book stores, amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and online literary sites telling me how much I’d like the novels of Matt Beynon Rees. I’m delighted to see these emails, which are based on my other purchases and interests, as only I can truly know just how much the novels of Matt […]

7 March 2010 0 Comments

Literary reviews: If you can’t say something nice…

Kingsley Amis said that “a bad review may spoil your breakfast, but you shouldn’t allow it to spoil your lunch.” That’s because Kingsley, bless his vindictive old heart, was probably too busy spoiling someone else’s. Believe me, a bad review leaves a bad taste all day long. That’s not because of any insecurity about my […]