Attending your own funeral?

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON NOVEMBER 30, 2012 Mark Twain may have had the opportunity, but it’s fair to say being able to attend your own funeral is not something that happens every day. Premature obituaries do happen in the case of mistaken identity and misreported deaths, but it’s relatively rare. Twitter, of course, seems to be doing its best to despatch the still living to the great beyond, with rumours of the deaths of pop stars, film actors and politicians regularly reaching halfway round the world before the ‘mistake’ – for which read ‘spoof’ – is unmasked. Margaret Thatcher has already […]

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A Shining Example On How Not To Write A Novel?

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON DECEMBER 13, 2012 Stephen King’s On Writing is often quoted as being the essential book for would be authors to read before setting out on their virgin manuscript. It’s good fun too, with the first half comprising a very amusing biography before the second half tells you all the dos and don’ts of writing a book. Did it help me write my first novel? Well, yes, I found it very reassuring, not least because SK is straightforward, unflappable and the master of common sense. But on one area, I definitely had to say, ‘come on Stephen, you’re […]

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Tweeting from beyond the grave – why sometimes it’s good not to talk

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON FEBRUARY 26TH, 2013 As the debate, and legal challenges, continue over who should have rights over a person’s Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts after death, the whole area of digital legacy is suddenly being thrust centre stage. While it’s easy to see why stopping abuse and masquerading on accounts where the originator has passed on is an important area for legal review, another strand of digital legacy is now emerging – the idea of continuing to converse with the dead via their social media accounts. Charlie Brooker dramatised this exact point in the Be Right […]

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The fallacy of making a fortune out of self-publishing.

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MAY 3, 2013 E L James has made a reported US$50M from her Fifty Shades Of Grey series of books, so is self-publishing now the new money making goldmine for aspiring wealth hunters? As a first time self-published author, I can safely conclude that it’s not. It’s a fairly safe bet that in any guide to the top ten ways of making money self-publishing wouldn’t be one of them. It wouldn’t even make a list of the top 100 ways. For every E L James there are a million frustrated self-published authors wondering ‘when am I going […]

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Forty years ago today…Tigers on Vaseline in Leeds

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON JUNE 29, 2013 Exactly forty years ago today, on Friday 29 June 1973, music fans in Leeds were treated to one of the strangest couplings of performer and venue in rock and roll history as Ziggy Stardust touched down for two shows in the unlikely setting of the Rollarena, a roller skating hall on Kirkstall Road, Burley, Leeds. Hammersmith, and David Bowie’s last ever show as the Starman, was to follow only four days later. I was there, and it only took me another thirty-nine years to weave Bowie into A Matter of Life and Death. The […]

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