Mr. Media and Me

Mr. Media and Me

Here’s a video podcast interview with Mr Media (Bob Andelman) in which I discuss some real-life inspirations for Black Chalk and how being a puzzle-maker helped me to fit the pieces of my plot together.

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Book Pirate Love Letter

Book Pirate Love Letter

I recently received a google alert that directed me to a page where my novel was being made available as a free download. Instantly I fell in love with my pirate (a form of Stockholm syndrome) and here is my […]

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Sturm und Slang

Sturm und Slang

Here are two recent pieces I wrote on Oxford. The first one’s a guide for Yahoo Travel telling you, among other things, where, allegedly, Clinton didn’t inhale. The second one is a brief trip through the peculiar slang/jargon of Oxford […]

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Huffington Post Interview

Huffington Post Interview

I recently had a very enjoyable interview with Jaime Lubin for The Huffington Post. This is one of the things she says about Black Chalk. “I mention that the story reminds me of a Hitchcock film: multiple twists and reveals, […]

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New York Post Fictionary

New York Post Fictionary

OK I swore I would never EVER  again write another Fictionary. So what in the name of all that is holy is this? It won’t happen again, promise.    

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Hardcover v. Paperback

Hardcover v. Paperback

I’ve just been shown the cover for the paperback version of Black Chalk (out September 2014 in the UK, January 2015 in the US). I’d be fascinated to find out which one you prefer. Hardcover on the left, paperback on […]

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Black Chalk US Launch

Black Chalk US Launch

Here’s a little photo gallery of my book launch party at University Settlement (Lower East Side, New York), April 1. A massive thank you to everyone who provided photos: David Boyle, Larissa Beniaminova (the pro in the room, check her […]

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Interview Photo

Interview Photo

This is a photo shoot with Interview magazine which, for those of you who’ve finished Black Chalk, was taking place next to the exact tree that features in the climactic penultimate chapter. “Garlands of dried flowers hang from the trunk.” […]

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Black Chalk: the Launch Party Playlist

Black Chalk: the Launch Party Playlist

Here’s a playlist with the theme ‘Music From an Oxford College, 1990-91′, which will be the music at my US launch party, April 1 (click for details). This is the music you would hear if, traveling back in time twenty-something years […]

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The US Launch Party

The US Launch Party
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Blood Will Tell

Blood Will Tell

Vacationing in Hanoi recently, I learned that one way to understand the true nature a nation’s people is to shed your blood in front of them. The plan had been to enjoy the bia hoi of Vietnam in whichever bar […]

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New York Conversations #2

New York Conversations #2

The following conversation occurred in a local grocery store. Me: Could I get a couple of those soft rolls, please? Server: How many’s a couple, Sir? Me: Oh, right, yes. Two, please. Server: Man, not you as well! I always […]

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New York Conversations

New York Conversations

What follows is a very one-sided conversation I overheard between two strangers on the subway. Woman #1: You know, the problem for me is I’m allergic to wool. Every winter I come out in a rash from all the wool […]

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A Safe Haven For Writing

A Safe Haven For Writing

Witness my new secret weapon in the war against non-productivity. This is a kitchen safe, designed, in the main, to help serial snackers resist cravings. (Put cookies in ‘cookie jar’ and set timer; safe now locks; no cookies for the […]

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Tooth Stranger Than Fiction

Tooth Stranger Than Fiction

I present you with compelling proof that not everything I wrote in Black Chalk is fiction. I apologise for quoting myself, and it’s not a habit I intend to form, but here, from page 172 (hardback): “Have you noticed how […]

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Who Watches The Dog Watchers?

Who Watches The Dog Watchers?

I turned NSA for a week to try out a spy camera that allows you to monitor your pets. In theory. Here’s the piece I wrote for the New York Post about the experience.  

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New York Post Xmas Puzzles

New York Post Xmas Puzzles

Here are some Christmas puzzles I made up for the New York Post. Much easier than Fictionary, more of a sort of light family fare. You’ll probably need to print it out and I’d advise using a pencil for the […]

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Fictionary 6 (WCCQ)

Fictionary 6 (WCCQ)

I used to work as a puzzle editor and compiler and thought it might be fun to make up a book puzzle. This is a wordplay challenge in which each circle contains a cryptic-style clue. For the example, over on […]

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Fictionary 5

Fictionary 5

I used to work as a puzzle editor and compiler and thought it might be fun to make up a book puzzle. This is a wordplay challenge in which each circle contains a cryptic-style clue. For the example, over on […]

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Flushed With Pride

Flushed With Pride

It was a great thrill to have a piece included in my childhood local newspaper, a pleasure that was only increased seeing my words and book cover curling around the sparkling porcelain of a lavatory ad. However, I’m not quite […]

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Fictionary 4

Fictionary 4

I used to work as a puzzle editor and compiler and thought it might be fun to make up a book puzzle. This is a wordplay challenge in which each circle contains a cryptic-style clue to the name of a […]

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Black Chalk, In Numbers

Black Chalk, In Numbers

700 – the number of days it took to write a first draft of Black Chalk 10 – the number (for the sake of argument) of good ideas you need to hang a moderately complicated plot together 70 – based […]

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Fictionary 3

Fictionary 3

I used to work as a puzzle editor and compiler and thought it might be fun to make up a book puzzle. This is a wordplay challenge in which each circle contains a cryptic-style clue to the name of a […]

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Dog Week – The Finale

Dog Week - The Finale

So here it is, the finale of Dog Week, Mabel’s appearance at this year’s Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade. This year Mabel went as… drumroll… Sharknadog! OK, in case you are unaware of the movie Sharknado, it’s a disaster […]

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Dog Week

Dog Week

Yes, the Discovery Channel has Shark Week and now, here on my website, it’s Dog Week. (This is somehow linked to my writing, bear with me.) For the past three years our dog, Mabel, has taken part in New York’s Tompkins […]

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