Radio star!

Last Thursday, I was delighted to be internet-based ExpatRadio‘s special guest on ‘The Scribblers’ spot. They let me witter on (in between music) for an hour. No, it was more of a conversation with Mike Madden, Wendy H Jones and Eilidh McGinness. I’ve met Wendy several times before – we both spoke a the last […]

Diamond Tales - sparklers for you!

They say “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” and “A diamond is forever” but that is just marketing. Diamonds have played a far more significant rôle in human culture, and for a much longer time.

The name “diamond” is derived from ancient Greek αδάμας (adámas), “proper”, “unalterable”, “unbreakable”, “untamed”. Stones are thought to have […]

Charroux - a different litfest

You know the score – a crowd of writers keen to learn and interact and readers eager to adore the great ones, hurrying from pillar to post, same old topics thrashed over, expensive food, even more expensive drink, lots of undercurrents and exclusive events, groups and cliques and a carefully orchestrated bookshop with selected titles.

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How to write a 'damnèd, smiling villain'

Octavian (Author photo) Shakespeare’s Young Octavius

O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain! My tables—meet it is I set it down That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain— At least I am sure it may be so in Denmark. (Hamlet, Wm.Shakespeare)

“And some that smile have in their hearts, I fear, […]

Do we still like ‘Ruritania’?

Frontispiece to The Prisoner of Zenda, Charles Dana Gibson

Rudolf Rassendyll (Sigh) Princess Flavia (Aaah!) Duke Michael (Grrrr!) Rupert of Hentzau (Wow but grr!)

When I picked up The Prisoner of Zenda at age 12, I was enraptured. It was a torch under the bedclothes job. When it ended I cried, partly from […]