Chapters 5 and 6 of The Sovereign Forest - my retelling of the Robin Hood story - are now available. The gang set out to rescue the doomed Will Scathelocke. A suspicious beggar infiltrates Sherwood. Missed the story so far? Head to the contents page.
My copy of Landfill was supplied for review by Little Toller Books. Tim Dee's latest book may just be his most important. His 2008 work The Running Sky is justifiably recognised as a classic of modern nature writing. Through the months of a year Dee looks at a particular species, habitat, or aspect of our … Continue reading “Landfill” by Tim Dee
Benjamin Myers is a writer whose time has come. Recent winner of the Walter Scott Prize for his stunning The Gallows Pole, Myers has been a prolific voice of the English North for several years, and his wider renown is thoroughly deserved. It also comes at a fertile time for writing from the North of … Continue reading Lodestone – the work of Benjamin Myers
It isn't writer's block. Stephen King once wrote about a story "being dead even as the words continue to march across the page", and I hope it isn't that, either. I think all that's happened is a loss of momentum. I've stalled. The folk-horror work was going well, until I went on holiday. But the … Continue reading Where have all the words gone?
Happy 66th birthday to @RealCliveBarker My personal Top 10 of his novels at Into the Gyre
Or, me talking about maps again. Names change as both language and places change. The village I grew up in has a name - Newburgh - which it has borne since the 12th or 13th century and clearly no longer merits. Some town names' spelling - and meaning - alter over the centuries, but this … Continue reading A nail to hang a place on
"The stones, like the natural granite cast up from the earth by nature, defy the centuries. To stand beside them...on the heights of West Penwith...is to become...an astronaut in time. The present vanishes, centuries dissolve...here in the lichened stone is the essence of memory itself. Belief in immortality...Man's answer, from the beginning, to the challenge … Continue reading Cornwall: ancient stones
The story I'm writing at the moment is set in the past, in a vague and never-specified summer at the end of the 80s: 1988 or 1989. Certain signifiers are there - and necessarily there - which tie it to this particular era. Thatcher is Prime Minister; the 1984-85 miners' strike is described as having … Continue reading Imag(in)ing the past
Who am I kidding? Every holiday, I take pad and pen. Every holiday, they remain untouched. I think, though, that it's important I take them. It symbolises my intent. And if I don't actually put pen to paper, then I can spend time plotting and planning, right? Well, no. Not really. Not consciously, anyway. I … Continue reading “This time I will definitely do some writing while I’m on holiday”
In Scotland the schools are off, and the weather has been uncharacteristically summery since late May. I'm away on holiday. Time to share with you what I've been reading in this fine weather, and what's in the suitcase for the trip to Kernow. The Devil Rides Out - Dennis Wheatley: 1930s black magic horror hokum. … Continue reading Summer Reading