Teching at the Edinburgh Festival

This year I am not at the Edinburgh Festival, bucking a rule that has held for many years of my life. I have worked on a bundle of shows up there over several years, and figured as the Festival is currently in full swing I may as well sit back, chill out, and reminisce on what it’s like to be a techie in Edinburgh in August…. Firstly, there’s two kinda techies working the Edinburgh Festival. There’s people like me, who arrive, work, and leave within a couple of days. We are very lucky. Then there’s the vast majority of technicians,…

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Why I’m A Squishy Leftie

If you’ve spent more than 20s on this blog, you’ll know I’m a squishy leftie. I tick a bundle of the boxes – extremely concerned about climate change, social inequality, feminism, discrimination etc.. I was pro-Corbyn until it became apparent that he was pretty useless, and have generally voted Green my whole life, especially in local and European elections where a fairer electoral system than first-past-the-post actually gives my vote a bit more meaning. So I rant about leftie things, but I’m not sure I’ve spent much time explaining how I got this way, or why. Broadly speaking, my leanings…

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Middling 30s

This year I turned 33, which is a pleasing number and a good age to be. It marks nearly 19 years since I started writing books for a living, and 9 years since I left RADA. I’m settled with a partner and a flat, learning at long last how to be comfortable with my body, and have been extremely lucky in many ways. In my writing life, my career appears to be going well, for which I have not just luck and years of slog to thank, but an incredibly loyal publisher. If I’ve had 19 years of writing, Orbit…

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Adventures in… Madeira

One of my favourite magazines, Delayed Gratification, has a section called Butterfly Effect. In it, the implausible series of events leading from, say, a man tripping over a rabbit in 1779, is unfolded to its logical conclusion of man landing on the moon. (And hello Apollo 11 60th anniversary!) A similar cascade of events might explain why we went to Madeira. The Wright brothers get a plane in the air. A cascade of imperial cock-ups, colonial mis-adventures and diplomatic disasters lead to WW1. The peace of WW1 leaves Germany devastated and primed for the rise of a far-right Nazi leader.…

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Running Sucks Sorta Maybe No

Running sucks. I’m kinda learning to love it. As a child, I was taught that exercise was basically a moral sin. For my Dad, who was always overweight, exercise was just something he straight-up refused to do. My Mum loves walking everywhere and values exercise in life deeply, but always had a strong sense that to ‘do exercise’ such as the gym was to indulge in unforgivable vanity and self-importance. That, and she hated the swimming pool changing rooms. Consequently, I was raised suspicious of basically all activity that wasn’t walking casually ever. At secondary school, my PE report was…

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The Pursuit of William Abbey – Cover

New book! Whooooooo! I’m not very good at saying stuff about why my own books are cool and you should read ’em (I’ve spent a lot of the last year apologising for 84K being flippin’ bleak – sorry – but an on-it bleak) but Orbit has way nicer things to say about it. This one is set between 1884-1917, and features a great deal of spying, running away from things, travel, lies, revolution and fresh air and exercise. It’s also a really sexy cover design by Steve Panton, and I hope come November I’ll have come up with a wonderful…

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