18 ways real-life sex is different to 50 Shades

Firstly, I’m not hating on 50 Shades. I have seen many a worse film (At least no one abuses dairy products in this film, as in Last Tango in Paris), and for something based on Twilight, it’s a hell of a lot better than that (2 hours of staring in the rain, vague hints that…

Splitting in Two

So, I’m very VERY pleased that I am going to have two books coming out this year. The next Paula Maguire, THE SILENT DEAD, will now be out in November. In the meantime, I’ve written a romantic comedy (which I promise does have real and actual jokes in) about having to start over in life….

Interstellar: or, Are Alternative Galaxies Just Not That Into You?

It goes without saying this is riddled with spoilers. It is one gigantic spoiler. Spoilery spoiler spoil spoil. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. We open with the classic ‘old lady reminiscing’ shot, just like in Titanic, except disappointingly it doesn’t then segue into her as a young hottie running through the corridors of a…

How am I still standing? (More adventures-hashtag blessed)

Finally, September has come! And so I get a break. I know that’s not how it works for the rest of the world, but there you go. I rounded off August with lots of work – short story for Radio 4, article for Glamour magazine, edits of Paula Maguire 3, being on the radio for…

Yet more of what I’ve been up to

Phew! It’s August. How did that happen? Soon it will be time for my annual wistful re-reading of Louis MacNiece’s Autumn Journal (September has come, etc). The past few weeks have been very busy – I went to Berlin to visit a writing friend, the inestimable Kerry Hudson, and we drank beer, ate sausages, stayed…

What I’ve been up to

Greetings! Suddenly, the writing life got busy. My new book The Dead Ground (set during a snowy and blood-stained Irish December) came out in April, with launches in both Belfast and London. The Belfast one in No Alibis bookshop was very special as it was the last time I saw my granddad, who died a…

What’s wrong with your book??

So you’ve finished your book. Congratulations! This is a major achievement, and you should be really proud. Finishing a book is more than half the battle. But what if you feel something isn’t quite working? Maybe you’re getting interest from agents, but for some reason they aren’t totally sold on it, and they can’t quite…

Going Home

They say home is the place where, if you go there, they have to take you in. Home for me is a small village in Northern Ireland where the most exciting thing that ever happens is a herd of cows get loose on the road and cause a traffic jam. There’s three churches, two takeaways,…

Writing from life

As crime writers, we have to take the worst events that ever happen to people – murder, bereavement, torture, pain – and make them into a story. That story has to be entertaining or people won’t read it, no matter how much we also want to make a point or debate social and moral issues….