Iris in Amsterdam is real… honest

I had a travel piece in the Mail on Sunday today about Amsterdam. It begins with a mention of a funny little girl I met in the Vondelpark during King’s Day this year. As I said in the piece… If you want to know what Amsterdammers are really like, you could...

Working with Ulysses on a train

I’ve never found the 11.6 inch MacBook Air much use for writing before. It just seems too small for most apps. But… all change. Here, below, is Ulysses in full screen on the little thing. A bit of tweaking with the zoom and line height and it’s...

A different way to approach the story bible

Everyone writes differently. And thank goodness too. If we didn’t we’d end up writing the same kind of books. A long time ago I wrote about creating a story bible, a reference work for a novel or series. That was a very simple kind of bible and the post is...

Begging for books: not cool

Just so you know if you’re a fellow author… there’s a new begging email doing the rounds. Here it is in all its glory. I’ve redacted the identifying parts though I’m not quite sure why. If someone’s really going to be this...

Enter Vellum… the closest ePub’s got to WYSIWYG

I put up a new short story earlier today, formatted more professionally than anything I’ve ever self-pubbed before. I don’t pretend to be a self-pub expert. If something suits that medium I’m happy to do it. But conventional publishing — sorry I...

Last Exit to Fuengirola — a short story

It’s been a while since I came up with a short story so here’s something that may be new for most of you. Last Exit to Fuengirola is a short — seven thousand words — tale set in southern Spain. It featured in last year’s Crime Writers’...

A few photos of Amsterdam

A few random pictures from recent visits to the home of the Vos books… Selling mushrooms in the lovely farmers’ market in the Noordermarkt. Canal off the Prinsengracht Prinsengracht from outside De Eland café, site of the fictional Drie Vaten De Eland, the...

Tom’s typewriter – thanks Hanks but no

Tom Hanks loves typewriters. So much that he’s put his name to an app for the iPad that recreates his beloved machine. Hanx Writer is yours for free though there are in-app options including a ‘Writer’s Block’ bundle whatever that is. I spent the first twenty five...

A note for all seasons

Taking notes. It’s one of the things most us have been doing since we learned to write. An apparently simple everyday task without which lots of good ideas will vanish, forgotten. When I was a newspaper reporter note-taking in my rotten shorthand was something I did...