Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival (Harrogate) Preview

Tomorrow I’ll take a train north from London to the idyllic town of Harrogate in North Yorkshire for the annual festival affectionally known as Harrogate. (The full name, Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, includes the name of the long-time sponsor,...

Cheap? Fast? Good?

Back in the proverbial day, before there was social media and a correcting Selectric was the bomb, I used to hear this Business Rule a lot. I haven’t heard it lately, but it’s as true as ever, so I’m gonna try to reintroduce it to the vernacular, starting right here....

Promote Yourself

A couple of weeks ago, Jeff Cohen posted about his Chemo Promo Conundrum. The core situation he described—an author confronting the problem of having to promote their books—is a common problem, I think, made immeasurably harder for Jeff because he’s going through...

On Failure

Last weekend, I read this essay in The Guardian when it was shared by novelist Steve Mosby. Despite it being published on April 1, it does not appear to be an April Fool’s joke. The Guardian’s April Fool’s story is here.  The thing that jumped out at...

By the Numbers

I believe that there are two kinds of people in the world: words people and numbers people. Thankfully, being one doesn’t preclude you using the other, but if you’re more comfy with one or the other, stepping outside that comfort zone can require some...

Cultural Differences

My father was writing his Master’s Thesis about WB Yeats when I was born, and this, combined with our Irish family history, led to my being named after Ireland. When I was growing up, Erin was an unusual name; I was well grown before I met another Erin. I moved to...