A good year for the roses, the first Nick Sharman novel, by Mark Timlin is being republished by No Exit and is available for pre order now.
Did you miss me, yeah, while I was away? as Gary Glitter once famously said, though we mustn’t mention his name these days, must we.
When did you last hear a GG record on the radio? A long time. He’s been pretty well airbrushed out of history, whilst some people get away with it. Funny old world. All I can say is that I really liked his first album and played it constantly, alternated with Astral Weeks. But I was pretty well zonked out most of the time back in those days. Read More
A bit on the quiet side last week, with not much happening to write home about, so I didn’t. Too busy working on the 101 Best Crime Series book which meant I’ve been too involved in watching TV to do anything else. Especially as my dear friend Nick (The Web Wizard) David has dug me up some box sets of old TV series. And I mean dug up, as in some cases they look like something from the graveyard. Check out these B&W babes. No Hiding Place, Z-Cars and 156 (Count ‘em) half hour episodes of Highway Patrol. Yeah, I know, my mum told me about them. But one classic series turned up as well. Prospects, starring Gary Olsen (sadly deceased, too young) and Brian Bovell, set on the Isle Of Dogs when it was still an Enterprise Zone. Bloody marvellous. I loved it when it was on Channel 4 in the eighties, and I think I love it even more now. All these came from a company called (I think) tv- memories, although all that’s on the covers is Memories & Nostalgia, nothing more. No info, just photos of everyone from Dixon Of Dock Green to Jimmy Nail in Spender. Anonymous. I hope they’re street legal. Read More
I’m supposed to be on the Robert Elms show on Radio London 94.9FM & DAB some time after 12.30 tomorrow 7th May 2010, unless presumably, someone shoots the new prime minister.
Listen online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p001d7kb
Nothing last week I’m afraid. A bit of a domestic, doctor called. (Not for me some will be sorry to hear) Always on a bloody Sunday isn’t it? Still managed to cook a wild pigeon (You’d be wild too, if you were stuck into a hot oven and basted with your own juices) and four of five veg. This week it’s a simple pousin (My spell check doesn’t recognise the word, so I might well have spelled it wrong. Baby chicken I mean) poached in white wine with swede, carrot and onion, plus mashed potato and sprouts (frozen. But Marco Pierre White said they’re best). Read More
Last time I warned you this was going to be all about me. And mostly it is. Because, all of a sudden all sorts of things are happening. First off, after quite a long break, I’ve got two new books coming out. Well, one is new, and the other is sort of new.
So, just like they used to say about the number Eleven bus. “You wait for ages for one, and then two come along together.” Read More
Last time I said I couldn’t find a crime novel that interested me. Since then I’ve found four and read two. The two I’ve read are The Whisperers by John Connolly and Terror’s Reach by Tom Bale. One is superb, the other just OK. Wait for proper reviews later. The other two, that have just arrived, are Deeper Than The Dead by Tami Hoag and Low Life by Ryan Davis Jahn. More about them soon. Read More
A while back I mentioned I’d received 10 Rules Of Writing by Elmore Leonard (Weidenfeld & Nicolson-H/B-£7.99). Finally got round to reading it over the weekend, and, gulp, I reckon I’ve broken most of them in my writing career, and so have a lot of other authors. Now, Leonard seemed like an amiable enough fellow the one time I met him, but Buddy, what is all this about?
A few words about Robert B. Parker. Now sadly, the late Robert B. Parker, a Grand Master of American crime writing, and deservedly so. Parker has been writing crime novels for forty years, and produced an eye watering number in that time. I make it sixty four, but that does include a few westerns and one or two on other subjects. I counted that I have over sixty in my collection, not including, I must confess Training With Weights. But more importantly as far as I’m concerned, is that Parker was one of the main reasons I started writing crime novels myself. Of course there are some out there who won’t be thanking him for that. His easy way of writing made me think it would be easy to write myself, but in fact it was, and is, a lot harder to do than I thought. Over the years he pared down his style, chopping out any fat, but after his death I dug out my original copy of God Save The Child, his second novel, published in 1974, and the difference from the Parker of the twenty-first century is incredible.