"I expect you’ll be becoming a schoolmaster, sir. That’s what most of the gentlemen does, sir, that gets sent down for indecent behaviour.” Evelyn Waugh, Decline and Fall
Diary
To Penge and beyond

To Penge and beyond

Andy Miller’s engagingly therapeutic and very funny The Year of Reading Dangerously sets out to reaffirm the pleasure of the written word by casting a critical eye over all those must-read classics you never quite got around to tackling. Now his dynamic roadshow reaches out to an appropriately pumped-up public… Thursday 29 May To Bookseller...
My wilderness year

My wilderness year

Having three novels published over a space of about eight months is an invigorating, magnificent and mystifying experience. The New York Times name-checks your Annihilation on their front page as an example of “binge reading” and after the glow fades (and the confusion: please don’t skim) you realize it’s also binge publicity, which means binge...
Witching with ink

Witching with ink

With very few exceptions, books about writing are nuts-and-bolts manuals. They should be kept with the recipe books and IKEA furniture assembly instructions. The idea is that if you follow the steps, apply logic and put in the hours, you will construct something as substantial as a house. Do these three things sufficiently well, and...
Pre-flight

Pre-flight

12 pm I am getting ready to leave Montreal to go on my book tour. In my new novel The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, none of the characters ever leave the island of Montreal. They don’t see the point and think the rest of the world is an unlucky, foreign place. Indeed, I barely...
Hanging by the bay

Hanging by the bay

I live in Santa Cruz, California, on the very edge of the continent and one of the most beautiful places on planet earth. Most mornings I take a walk along West Cliff Drive, where I am joined by joggers, strollers, dogs, bicyclists and tourists. The ocean is below us; the path winds along the cliffs...
My own private love club

My own private love club

Robert Glancy’s debut novel Terms & Conditions tells the story of a lawyer specialising in jargon-filled small print and footnotes no one ever reads, whose life unravels after an apparent road accident. He looks back with fond imagination on a book tour that turned out nothing like a car crash. 1 February The launch of...
The (S)crapbook tour

The (S)crapbook tour

I was nervous about embarking on the promotional book tour for several reasons. Firstly, the book that I’m promoting is rubbish. I suppose a lot of foxes don’t even get around to writing a book, so in that respect I should give myself a pat on the back, but even when you consider that, it’s...
Coconuts and random acts

Coconuts and random acts

Albert Alla’s debut novel Black Chalk is an unsettling exploration of passion and modern morality in which the sole witness and survivor of a school shooting in the Oxfordshire countryside returns to the scene of the devastation after eight meandering years searching for meaning and reconciliation in big cities and on small islands. He was...