Long read: Drowned Books

At the end of my as-yet unpublished novel The Green Man there is a sort scene that echoes one of Prospero’s final lines from The Tempest, “I’ll drown my book.” Prospero (and the character from TGM) realises that investigative rationality (symbolised by his book), and the ability to control aspects of the world with theContinue reading “Long read: Drowned Books”

Book Review: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Sarah Perry’s exploration of the 19th century wildlands of Essex is masterful, heartbreaking and uplifting. It seems at first glimpse to be a late-Victorian X-File, when rumours of a strange creature called the Essex Serpent coincide with bad happenings in and around the small village of Aldwinter, where the ostensibly grieving Cora Seaborne heads toContinue reading “Book Review: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry”

Rejection Doesn’t Define You

How many people reading this have submitted a novel manuscript to a literary agent? More to the point I wonder how many people have received rejections? In fact, scrap that. Forget about writing and submitting manuscripts to an agent. How many people have been rejected for anything, ever? A job, a business proposal, a grant,Continue reading “Rejection Doesn’t Define You”

Long read: Another Brick In The Dead-Wall: Pink Floyd and Melville’s ‘Bartleby’

Before the completion of Moby Dick in 1851, Melville suffered the traditional artists’ existential crisis: a lack of money coupled with being pulled this way and that by competing interests. Most of us who’ve chosen to pursue some degree of success in the arts have felt that Real Life frequently gets in the way. MelvilleContinue reading “Long read: Another Brick In The Dead-Wall: Pink Floyd and Melville’s ‘Bartleby’”