My Fallen Rover

  The cliffs were a cavity in the face of the earth. Dark and volcanic, boundless like the very night sky. In fact, they look like the night sky of millions of years ago, fossilised. If archaeologists were to excavate it they would unearth shards of extinct stars. “Are you ready Alfred?” She screamed as…

The Ghostly Cries of Istanbul

She had barely run out the door when her mother cried out to her: “it’s just a plane!” But the girl didn’t hear her, or anything, only the shrill engine of the plane; she saw her mother’s hand reaching out to her, but she turned away and cried: “bombs! Bombs are coming!” “Is this a…

The Proust Questionnaire for my Main Character

The Cuban     Finishing the first draft of a novel you’re proud of is a feeling worth more than wealth. And I choose my words carefully. As this is a novel about wealth – or lack thereof, or, better still, the lack of desire for wealth.  The main character of the story is Tony…

Taking Things Too Syria-ously

      Ernest Hemingway once wrote, clearly embittered after a bad interview with the New Yorker: “If you say nothing it is difficult for someone to get it wrong.” And saying nothing is exactly what we should do – in writing, but not in interviews. I was recently interviewed by the kinkily titled Rum Punch…

Read The Shadows of Paradise – First Chapter

On a day when there is legitimate fear over the future of democracy with the inauguration of potentially dangerous, populist pseudo-autocrat, I have decided to embrace the democratic spirit, sidestep literary capitalism, and share with you, dear readers, the first chapter of my manuscript, The Shadows of Paradise. For more information about the novel read…

The Shadows Of Paradise Vlog II

My second video blog about my ongoing novel The Shadows Of Paradise. Working hard on it, despite the depressing world news, and soldiering on – writing is the hardest thing anyone can do in the comfort world. I do encourage your feedback, after all, despite it all, the democratic process is still alive and strong!…

A New Novel: The Shadows Of Paradise

  It’s in the shadows of paradise where we are happiest; There alone death choreographs life’s wildest parties.             A novel born from a quote. A quote born for a novel. It’s fortuitous for a writer to be given such a gift from the Muse. Especially when that writer has shunned the Muse in favour…

We The Tantalised

    Puerta del Sol, Madrid, 2009. We were having breakfast in one of the few cafes here that cater for the early risers. Our table was next to the window, and we could see the sun strip the square of night and the morning commuters dress it for the day. I was having a…

The Real Good Stuff in Fiction

  For a couple of centuries now, at least since the likes of Henry James and Dostoevsky, the literary world has been in the grasp of the psychological novel. All the major masterpieces since then have been, in some way or another, a psychology-centred work. Gone are the days of the adventure novels, of Moby-Dick…

Third-World, First Rate

  For centuries now the Western world has held a monopoly on literature. Think of the literary greats and your mind rushes to Londoners, Americans, Frenchmen, Russians. This happens even if you are the most open-minded of people. And in a way it is only fair: the novel is a European invention. It gestated in…

Hardcore Writers no. 2 Joan Salvat-Papasseit

                                               Catalan Futurist: Joan Salvat-Papasseit     Politics and literature often go hand in hand. This isn’t something to be ashamed of. That is, so long as the art is the preliminary, gut-desire…

Hardcore Writers no.1 Jose Saramago

  The Marxist Messiah: Jose Saramago     Staunch Communist. Militant atheist. Those two facts alone are enough to raise Portuguese Nobel laureate Jose Saramago to the hardcore heights inhabited by the likes of Hemingway and Rimbaud. Saramago describes himself as a “hormonal Communist,” and, to elaborate the rest of the intoxicating quote: “I am…