last updated: 8 March 2020
The concept of usury is one that has been around for nearly as long as civilization. But why do we still care about it, and why is a fiction writer interested in the notion?
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last updated: 8 February 2020
Have you ever thought about getting yourself a teeny tiny phone? Let me tell you a bit more about these devices.
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last updated: 12 January 2020
Storytelling is something that is known in every culture and has always been a central part of human existence. But what makes it so?
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last updated: 8 December 2019
At first glance, Baby Driver is an everyday caper movie. But dig a little deeper and it’s a movie worth watching…and watching again.
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last updated: 7 December 2019
The Irishman is the latest movie from Martin Scorsese. It tells the story of Frank Sheeran, a low-level criminal who rises to positions of power within the Teamsters union and the Bufalino crime family. It is a detailed and complex story crossing the intersection between organized crime, trade unions, and politics. But at its heart, it is a story about family.
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last updated: 8 November 2019
You can find and listen to podcasts on the web. However, an app on your phone and/or tablet may offer features that give a better podcast listening experience.
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last updated: 3 November 2019
UK authors with US earnings will find that these overseas earnings are taxed at source, meaning the author receives less. By filling in a few forms, the author can arrange for payment to be made without the deduction of US tax.
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last updated: 6 September 2019
In The Late Show Michael Connelly introduces us to a new character, Renée Ballard. The novel includes the best of Connelly’s police procedural story telling and overlays the tale with a look at the internal politics of the LAPD. I loved the book; let me tell you why you might enjoy it.
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last updated: 5 September 2019
There’s a Napoleon Bonaparte quote: “I know he’s a good general, but is he lucky?” Was Napoleon right? Is there luck—or is luck just a matter of skill and hard work paying off?
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last updated: 7 July 2019
Lies are part of our everyday currency. Sometimes we tell untruths with the best of intentions, however, usually our motives are less pure. Whether a lie then matters is a combination of many factors. But how do we think about lies in novels which are, by definition, collections of lies?
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last updated: 11 May 2019
Thinking about the choices available and the decisions photographers make when taking a photo can help an author focus more tightly on the aspect of the story they want the reader to see. And by equal measure, by highlighting one aspect to the reader, then another aspect can be understated or hidden.
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last updated: 28 April 2019
I was recently accused of giving advice. This may seem like a strange thing to bridle against, but there are important issues here—both for the people giving advice and for anyone seeking advice.
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last updated: 31 March 2019
The Maltese Falcon is seemingly a chase for a valuable statue, but when looked at through the lens of five questions the story can be seen as a quest for justice.
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last updated: 29 March 2019
On first sight, Chinatown feels like a story about political corruption, corporate greed, and financial shenanigans, but as the story develops it becomes far more about the exercise of personal power. By asking five questions we can get to the central core of the story.
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last updated: 28 March 2019
Crime fiction is wide-ranging genre with many subgenres. The genre can encompass “cops and robbers”, cozies, whodunnits, and beyond to serial killers and psychological thrillers. But the genre can also be a lens through which to view society and to consider social issues.
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last updated: 22 March 2019
There’s a new Netflix documentary: The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The title tells you what you’re going to get. Let me tell you a bit about it before you decide whether to watch.
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last updated: 17 March 2019
When I started writing the Leathan Wilkey series, beyond telling the stories, I was interested to look at two aspects of modern life: first, how an individual survives without many comparatively modern items that we now take for granted, and second, how we ascribe value in our day-to-day lives.
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last updated: 10 March 2019
In Tattoo Your Name on My Heart Boniface finds himself the Surrey Hills. If you want archetypal gentle rolling English hills, near London, then take a look.
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last updated: 9 March 2019
Some of the key scenes in Tattoo Your Name on My Heart are set in the old church at Albury. Let me show you round the location that provided the inspiration.
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last updated: 27 February 2019
Where Eagles Dare could be mistaken for a straightforward World War II action/adventure movie. Scratch below the surface—and ask five questions—and it’s an espionage piece, looking at who can be trusted, and how you flush out the bad guys.
...continue reading: Where Eagles Dare: Five Questions