Wednesday, 20 March 2013

James Herbert: Rest In Peace

Now this was a shock. James Herbert, the legendary genre author known for novels such as The Fog, The Rats, The secret of Crickley Hall, The Ghosts Of Sleath, Once and many more, died today at the age of 69. His books are absolutely dripping with a style which is at once supremely English and easily accessible by readers worldwide.

Erring usually more towards chills rather than all-out carnage, his writing remains pumped full of atmosphere and tension where many other horror writers' work has lost some of its power. Not Herbert's. His luxurious prose and slow-burning plots ensure that each of his books felt like visiting a stately home of the imagination; beautiful and inspiring.

Herbert is survived by his wife and three daughters, and I think I can safely say that millions of readers like me around the world would like to pass on our sincere condolences. A giant has fallen, but his legacy will ensure his drive and talent lives on for a very long time to come.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


Hey all! Here's a quick update on what's going on with my 7th book, VHS ATE MY BRAIN. It's been a little while since I said much about my projects here and I thought it was time I started giving you regular info on where I'm at with stuff.

VHS ATE MY BRAIN is very nearly complete. The book is written but is missing some interviews from the latter half, which I want to include before it becomes available. At first the book was just going to be about my own experiences as a VHS fan and collector, but the interviews I've done so far for the book have turned out to be fascinating and have given the book a new angle.

I want to offer you all the best book I can, and as such I'm holding off releasing it until it's properly completed. I can't post a release date yet until the final interviews have been placed into the manuscript. Rest assured, I'll post it here as soon as I can.

I'm extremely proud of what VHS ATE MY BRAIN has become. It's a very different book to my previous one, BAGGED AND BOARDED: LIFE ON PLANET GEEK, but it's just as heartfelt and possibly even more geeky. I hope that you like it once it's out. The book will be out in paperback and on the Kindle, and there will be a limited run of 100 signed and numbered paperbacks too.

More project updates on this and other cool stuff soon. Keep in touch!


Thursday, 7 March 2013


So. It's been a tough few months here. With fatherhood, marriage, a looming new dayjob and all kinds of other stuff going on around me, it's not left me much time to write a great deal. The time that I have had available to write has been going on my magazine work, my column and occasional reviews for other places. I just couldn't fit much else in, and I was wondering why that was.

I figured out that it wasn't that I was using my time badly, I'd just got it arranged badly. Does that make sense? Writers starting out often ask people how they find the time to write, and writers often point out there's always time that can be refocussed to your writing, but what if you've already cut away things like a social life or hobbies in order to put words into sentences for fun and profit?

What if, like me, you've already reached the point where you're getting plenty written but still feel like not a great deal is getting done?

The key, I am finding, is to look at how your schedule can be reworked and rearranged in order to make the time you do have available to write the best possible time to do so. If short bursts are your thing, then look at where you can find short periods of time in which to get something done.

I've found my commute to be a productive time thanks to the joys of tablet computing, but a notepad and pen works just as well, and won't distract you with games or checking Facebook. Think of it as a game of Tetris - everything has a place, you just need to turn the blocks around a few times to make it all work. I guess what I'm saying is, I'm back, and I'm back on track.