An unbelievable true story…

Helen Demidenko caused a stir in literary circles in the mid 1990s. I remember at the time wondering why there was such a fuss? After all, the crime she was accused of was that she had made up her family history (and surname) in order to promote her novel, The Hand that Signed the Paper;... Continue Reading →

Go Set a Watchman

Imagine you love writing and have managed to have a few short stories published and a friend says, "Here's a year's salary, take a year off and go write a novel." While it sounds like a fantasy most authors would have, it really did happen to Nelle Harper Lee. A family she was friends with... Continue Reading →

Rediscovering a “Lost Work”

The Nag Hammadi library is a collection of early Christian and Gnostic texts discovered near the Upper Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi in 1945. It is comparable to the Dead Sea Scrolls in terms of its literary significance, though less well known. Please note that what follows is a discussion of the texts and their... Continue Reading →

A Reclusive Genius

There is a stereotype of authors as solo operators who toil away in isolation, driven to create by the work itself more than dreams of financial reward. Like most stereotypes that isn’t always the case, but there are examples who embody it. For this stereotype, I can’t think of a better example than Henry Joseph... Continue Reading →

An Author’s Worst Nightmare

Many authors have destroyed the only copies of their works. James Joyce burned his play, A Brilliant Career; Terry Pratchett had his unfinished works destroyed when he died in accordance with his wishes. Sometimes though, a manuscript is lost by accident and found later (such as Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman which will feature... Continue Reading →

A Night to Remember

A friend of mine recently reposted a FB article celebrating the 130 year anniversary of the publication of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Her post reminded me of the extraordinary story of how the book came to be. An American, Joseph Marshall Stoddart (managing editor of the American publication Lippincott's Monthly Magazine),... Continue Reading →

Rachel’s next book.

My daughter, Rachel, and I wrote a newly published book together, Unicorn's Egyptian Rescue. It has been available long enough to generate a few sales. Rather than wait for royalties to be paid in the real world, I gave Rachel some money as her share of what we had sold to date. This was very... Continue Reading →

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