Sunday, 16 May 2010

I'm Your Puppet

Just found a fab version of 'I'm Your Puppet'. I remember it by James and Bobby Purify. This excellent reggae/ska version by Jummy London is superior.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Canadian Week and Brit Writers Award

Canadian Week is running over at Michael J. Solender's 'not from here, are you?' Thanks go to Michael for publishing my piece 'Soldier Boy' (by Lily Childs) on the first day - it's up now at

By virtue of my grandfather being Quebecois I was eligible to enter. I wanted to write something, but had no idea where I would start. To my surprise, what came though was a message to this charming man who abandoned my grandmother during WWII.

It knocked me for six. Had me in tears. I never knew, didn't even suspect that I felt abandoned too by a grandfather who died before I was even born.

Brit Writers Award 2010

Just heard that I'm through to the third round of the Brit Writers' Awards 2010. With over 21,000 entries that feels pretty good!

I entered four short stories and a collection of poetry. Now it's over to the Big Judges!!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Interview with Lee Hughes

If you haven't heard of horror writer Lee Hughes, then you should have. And I've no doubt you will soon.

Lee visited my alter-ego's dark domain, Lily Childs Feardom for an extended chatette. Why not pop over to read what he had to say...

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Book Review – The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

[This review has already been published on Amazon and at]

If ever a book left me feeling I could never make it as an author then Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Angel’s Game is it. Set in pre-civil war Barcelona Zafón’s tale of intrigue and murder twists and turns at relentless speed.

The Angel’s Game features writer David Martìn, son of a drunken father and a disinterested, absent mother. Martìn is thrown into the somewhat seedy realm of journalism after his father is murdered in the street and the young David is taken under the wing of Señor Vidal, one of the city’s wealthy sons. Taking pity on the lad Vidal finds David a job at the offices of a newspaper he has connections with, and quickly becomes David’s mentor, friend and benefactor.

As David Martìn moves up, down and sideways through the world of writing his own life becomes as strange as the penny dreadfuls he pens. Taking up residence in the mysterious, derelict Tower House the young author writes day and night until he can barely breathe. He rarely eats, he never sleeps. His volatile existence is fuelled by cigarettes, coffee and alcohol.

Even with the constants of Vidal’s support and friendship, the all-seeing eye of bookseller Señor Sempere and the unrequited love of the beautiful and unobtainable Cristina, a barrage of events dart at Martìn from every direction. Violence hangs around every corner. Ghosts from the past come unbidden into the here and now. The Tower House reveals itself. We are left in no doubt that all is not as it seems.

David Martìn’s Barcelona is a surreal place of twisting alleys and sprawling mansions, steamy docklands and towering mountains. Readers of Zafón’s first novel The Shadow of the Wind will be familiar with the Cemetery of Forgotten Books – recalling the library with both affection and fear. Here, in this most secret of places Martìn unleashes the key that will turn everything, strange as it already is, on its head. Who is the angel playing the game of the book’s title?

The pace of this novel is exhilarating. The atmosphere – noir and gothic yet coloured with Mediterranean spice. Death and love seem interchangeable in the Spanish psyche and Zafón spins these contrasts round and around, revisiting them from every angle.

Zafón is the master of description. His well-crafted prose is sprinkled with a menace laced with dark poetry. The Angel’s Game excels in edginess, a sensation that reminds me of another angel – Alan Parker’s 1987 film Angel Heart starring Mickey Rourke. The bizarre lifestyle of David Martìn is reminiscent of works by Burroughs.

Finishing this book I felt exhausted. Bereft - cheated even that something so powerful and addictive had been taken from me. I can honestly say that this is one of the most riveting and exciting novels I have ever read. Any fiction that can make me gasp out loud goes straight to the top of my list. Highly recommended.