Archive for June, 2012

Happy days are here again

Posted: June 21, 2012 in Stuff
Tags: , , , ,

We’re going camping. Whoopee.

There’s a big ol’ storm heading our way and we’re going to be stuck  in a tent. I can’t wait.

It’s summertime in England so that means that we all get out there and commune with nature; except we wont be. What we will actually be doing is enduring another hellish weekend cowering inside our tent while it is being flailed by high winds and rain. But that’s OK though because we’re British, which means that our stiff upper lip and steady resolve enables us to put up with situations like this with dignity and decorum.

Experience has taught me that that there is no point getting down in the mouth about all this. There is nothing to be gained from being sad and moping around because you just end up tripping over cold wet guy ropes and pissing everybody else off.  It seems that whenever I go camping,  everyone else begins to suffer from some sort of a group hysteria, it manifests itself in a strange form of irrational optimism. They start to say things like, ‘Don’t worry it’ll brighten up in a minute,’  or ‘Shall we go to the beach tomorrow?’ when it should be patently obvious to anyone with even one eye that the sky is getting darker and and it’s getting colder and colder.

These days I take solace in two things, firstly skin is waterproof, and secondly I can always get drunk to dull the pain.


I did something today that will change me for ever. I went to my first ever literary seminar. It was at the Bloomsbury Publishing offices in London and it was amazing. I’m not kidding you when I tell you that there were real authors there, people who have actually written books that the public have read and love and keep in their bookcases. And there I was in the same room as them, I was completely dumbstruck.

I arrived hot and flustered from the Tube in time for wine and nibbles and stood like a wallflower, glass in hand, while the other delegates mingled and chatted around me. I must admit I felt just a little out-of-place. Then we were shepherded into the to the grand old salon which is a beautiful room complete with an enormous book-case which runs the entire length of one wall and which is crammed with Bloomsbury first editions. There we listened to a talk by three established and experienced crime writers.

It was chaired by the very talented Claire McGowan whose debut novel The Fall I couldn’t put down and Anne Zouroudi and James Runcie whose books I can‘t wait to pick up.  They gave us tips about plotting, characters and research but more importantly they gave us an insight into their modus operandi as crime writers. I loved every minute of it.

Everyone was friendly too. I said hi to Claire and it’s probably good news that at the time I didn’t know that James Runcie has made a film about J.G Ballard otherwise I might have got a bit scary and stalkery and on top of all that I met lots of other very nice people.

I feel different somehow. I feel like I have come of age as a writer.