Dedicated to the One I … Umm…

OK, aspiring authors, here’s the thing they don’t tell you. You won’t learn this on the creative writing courses. You won’t hear this from your agent, or your publisher, or your e-book self-publishing formatter. You won’t learn this from all those earnest blogs with titles like ‘Twenty-Five Things an Author Should Do Before Breakfast’. No. […]

The Dai is Cast

All novelists have a secret fantasy. Actually, it’s not terribly secret. It’s the cast list. Yes, admit it, my fellow authors, you know what I’m talking about. That cast list. The one for the film of your book – the lavish Hollywood spectacular or BBC mini-series based on our purple prose, the prize that we all dream about. […]

Battening Down The Hatches

Last week’s post attracted the most traffic ever to this blog, and certainly generated the biggest response in terms of comments, feedback on Twitter, etc. The moral of the story seems to be that saying vaguely rude things about David Starkey and/or Michael Gove strikes a big chord with perusers of this particular dark recess […]

Mr Stark and Mr Staring

Just when you’re starting to think ‘what shall I blog about this week?’, along comes good old David Starkey and solves the problem. (Actually, in true London bus fashion his intellectual soulmate Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Eton – sorry, Education – then came along too, but more of him anon.) For those […]

It’s History, Jim, But Not As We Know It

Something of a light digression this week, prompted by watching the first episode of the latest glitzy quasi-historical sword ‘n’ sex epic Da Vinci’s Demons, which appears to be from very much the same mould as the likes of Spartacus, Merlin, The Tudors, The Borgias etc. I’d expected it to be pretty risible, and in that sense it […]

Enter the Lion

A short blog this week, but one that marks a big event – The Lion of Midnight, fourth of the ‘Journals of Matthew Quinton’, is due to be published in the UK on 23 April! You can read the first chapter on my website. Lion marks a bit of a departure from the previous books in […]

The Spirit of Not Dead Fred

I am not dead yet I can dance and I can sing I am not dead yet I can do the Highland Fling (‘Not Dead Fred’ from Spamalot) I’ve always been intrigued by the possibilities presented by overlaps between generations. This might have been partly a consequence of the odd generational quirks within my own family: […]

Orkney and Shetland Road Trip, Part 5

On one level, Orkney has more heritage than it knows what to do with. Great monuments that would be major tourist attractions in the south of England sit in remote fields, virtually unknown: ‘oh look, that big mound must be yet another Neolithic tomb / ho hum, yet another virtually intact World War II gun […]

The Moniker of the Rose

A relatively short blog this week. When it’s published, I’ll be in Venice – and by complete coincidence (naturally!) we’re staying next to the great Venetian dockyard, the Arsenale, and the naval museum. Does this mean that a future Quinton story might be set in Venice? I couldn’t possibly comment…but hopefully next week’s post will […]

The Rise of Historyism

It was a very bad week for politicians and History. Or, to be exact, it was a bad week for History because of politicians’ inability to stop distorting it to serve their own ends. Take David Cameron’s big speech to the Conservative conference, for example. ‘This is the country that … defeated the Nazis…and fought […]