Thursday, April 26, 2007


Just in case you've stumbled across this blog for the very first time, I'll take this opportunity to draw your attention to this:


(Btw it is only 2mins long, not 5mins. Something went screwy uploading it)

Well, if that trailer intrigued you, you might like to know, the book has been shortlisted by the Thriller Writers Association in the US for Best Debut Novel. You might also like to know, it's coming out in paperback on May 3rd. You'll find it in your Waterstones/Borders/WHSmiths.
Or, I suppose, you can always cut out the middlemen and buy it direct from my shop:


Anyway, commercial over, back to slagging off Alan Sugar, and giggling over his latest inept gaggle of apprentices.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

APPRENTICE: Drop Dead Stupid

Natalie...nice Natalie went this evening.

Hmmmm, she was right though, it was hard to pick a candidate to scalp and eviscerate before the altar of the Big Sugar. Perhaps, this time, there really wasn't a candidate who deserved Sir Alan's boot up the botty. I thought, for the first time in this series, what a nice bunch of hardworking young wannabee-suits they were.

No hissy-fits, no back stabbing, no alpha-candidate chest beating...for once they all seemed to play nice. Sheeeesh, I even found myself warming to Tre, Hell, I actually found him utterly charming.

In fact, I think this is what The Big Sugar should have said:

'You know what? Nobody screwed up this week. The team that lost, did so simply because they had the misfortune of picking a pompous and talentless sloane.'

Yup, the utterly charmless Elizabeth Hoff, with her gaudy, over-priced-Athena-Cards...yes, those tacky photographs of lips.


So completely repulsive was she, that she actually managed to make this series' motley collection of Sir Alan Botty-lickers, look like a very respectable and humble ensemble of people. Bitching about the walls, the labels, the white wine...and then wheeling in her - obviously well connected - companion to tell 'em how to sell.


Actually, I think Adam, the used-car salesman, could probably teach Hoff and her manpanion a few things about selling, to be fair.

So, I'll round off this evening's rant with a few adjectives I picked a little earlier to describe the objectionable Ms Hoff:

Petulant, arrogant, pampered, talentless, privileged...and for good measure....greedy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


We're up to 7.5k

It would be more, but I'm actually in the process of moving house right now, which is getting in the way a little bit. But aside from the odd day of interruption, I'm trundling along at my usual 1500 words a day.

So how's it going?

Well, I'm the usual bag of nerves. Is what I'm writing actually interesting? Do these brand new characters who've suddenly winked into existence, feel like real people? Have I got an opening chapter that begs the reader to read on? It's bloody impossible to judge. At the moment I would say everything I've written so far is a load of pissing drivel. But then I felt that way when I started out writing A THOUSAND SUNS, ELLIE QUIN and LAST LIGHT.

I'll know when I pass it on to Frances (my wife) to get first read. But, yes, I'm confident for now. The concept is a strong one; it's an original treatment of a done-before idea.

Monday, April 23, 2007



Oh this is so funny. It's a physics based sumo game. Only in actual fact, it looks like two young bucks stepping out of the pub at closing time, and kicking off at each other.

I actually, nearly wet myself first time I tried it out.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Oh why didn't she just stick to her guns? She started by saying, 'look Alan, sorry...I'm not prepared to sell something I don't believe in.' And then ol' Sugar said something along the lines of 'we all have to sell utter crap to people, it's called business.'

Excuse me? Surely that ranks up there with Gerald Ratner's clumsy, and incredibly damaging quip 'our jewelry is total crap'. Surely to admit so publicly that his billion pound empire is built on the principle of selling crap to people...aka Business....was a bit of an own goal?

I think Sophie had a classic opportunity to really deck Sugar...I would have thought. But Hell, easy for me to say tucked up comfortably at home, not quite so easy sitting there at the table facing him, his two high priests and a film crew of about a dozen. Then of course, who knows, maybe she did manage to comeback with with something sharp? You do know that Sir Alan gets final say on how each show is edited? Of course you did. That's how he ends up looking incredibly cool, witty, incisesive etc etc.

He controls the edit.

Aaaarghhh, I hate this show!!!! And yet I bloody well tune in each week for more of it. I despise the manipulation, the exploitation of these poor suckers after the...ahem...'job'. (Yeah, funny how this 'job' so far seems to last for just about a year before the winning apprentice parts company with Sugar. Hmmmm.) I hate everything about it, the message it puts across (it's good to be a selfish sociopathic git) the sort of canidates the show attracts, the pointless unbusinesslike tasks they are set...

...and yet I torture myself each week, and sit down and watch this crap. Ridiculous isn't it?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

AND HE'S OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm now off the starting line with my 3rd thriller. For obvious reasons I'm going to have to hold my cards close to my chest, but I can safely say:

-it's a contemporary thriller
-with a strong historical slant
-...and no, there's no Grails, Knights Templars
-....nor Catholic Conspiracy theories
-.....nor any holy relics, codes or scrolls.

It does have a working title, which I may change by the end, or keep. And the title is: AZRAEL'S WHISPER. (I may lose/change the second I keep thinking of George Michael's Careless Whisper)

I shall endeavour to maintain regular WIP (work in progress) postings, complete with sexy progress graphics and a cummulative word count. And maybe...just maybe, I'll leak a bit more info on the tale as it progresses.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


There you go...that will be next year's smash, RealityTV hit. Z list celebrities grabbing little motor dinghies and putting across into Iranian waters in order to get themselves abducted, paraded around on Iranian TV and handed back a fortnight later in a Primark suit.

Well, why not? Everyone's a winner. The Iranian's get to look really kind - by not beheading them, British diplomats get to strut around and announce how cleverly they've played the negotation game, and the hostages themselves gets lots of lovely publicity, a fortnight of free curries and a £100k book deal.

I heard about some sizeable payouts being offered on the radio this morning. And some guest columnist raised the valid point that families of soldiers killed and maimed in Iraq have to be satisfied with derisery payments of £5-10K, whilst these navy kids, get to walk away from their rub with the enemy like Celebrity Big Brother contestants. You can imagine there'll be a lot of bad feeling over this, festering among the armed forces, and their families. Not good.

The thing is, I don't know who you blame here. I don't blame those kids - the hostages. They're on pretty crap salaries in the Navy, and £100,000 is going to sound like an awful lot to a nineteen year old. I also don't blame them for not putting up a respectable fight, as some armchair Generals have been grumbling about. Think about it...there was nothing they could. They were sitting in a flimsy boat, packed in like sardines, surrounded by three or four boats with heavy machineguns mounted on them. There's no such thing as 'a respectable amount of resistence'. If just one bullet had been fired by the Brits, those machineguns would have churned them into a human soup. Different story entirely if they'd been on foot patrolling some suburb of Baghdad...there'd be hard cover to dive for, and the possibility of fighting back.

So anyway, I don't blame them for surrendering, and I don't blame them for taking the huge sums that have already been offered by newspapers, and even greater sums that will come from book publishers in the next few weeks. As somebody mentioned, what the Hell can you expect from a bunch of teenagers whose only understanding of the world is what they see on TV; money-grabbing celebrities behaving like pampered toddlers, desperate nobodies doing anything for 15minutes of fame and cash prize, and pernicious TV adverts cajoling them to 'go grab what's rightfully theirs...because they deserve it.'

It's just a symptom of the crappy society we've built for ourselves here in UK over the last twenty-thirty years.