Blog Archive

Click on one of the below to be taken to that section of my blog archive:

The Writer Whisperer Speaks

General blogs: cultural appropriation, virtue signalling

Great Indian Novels – 10 reviews

Inside India: 50 short articles covering India’s past, present and future

Blogs about creative writing

Blogs about crime and literary festivals

Blogs about literacy and libraries

The Writer Whisperer Speaks

Anxiety and the writer … The Writer Whisperer Speaks #1


Cultural Appropriation (part 1): why people need to get a grip

Cultural Appropriation (part 2): when authors crash and burn

Cultural Appropriation (part 3): when authors get it right

Virtue Signalling: what is it exactly and is it even real?

Chilled Monkey Brains and Snake Surprise: when popular films promote racial stereotypes

Race Reports, George Floyd, and John Grisham’s A Time to Kill

Am I brown enough?

Cancelling Enid Blyton and Chimamanda’s “It Is Obscene” essay – is it possible to have a balanced discussion?

A simple act of kindness

DO judge a book by its cover

Inside India: 50 short articles covering India’s past, present and future

Inside India #1: The Indus Valley Civilisation – India’s oldest organised society

Inside India #2: Ashoka the Great – from mass murderer to Buddhist

Inside India #3: Marco Polo in India

Inside India #4: The Peacock Throne – seat of Mughal Emperors

Inside India #5: The Spice Jews of India

Inside India #6: Thug Life – India’s Thuggee cult, history’s most prolific serial killers

Inside India #7: Kashmir – paradise on Earth?

Inside India #8: The curse of the Koh-i-noor Diamond

Inside India #9: India’s greatest queens

Inside India #10: The $4m Gaitonde – India’s most expensive painting

Inside India #11: A brief history of Indian spices

Inside India #12: The handstand scorpion – how yoga became a global phenomenon

Inside India #13: The Queen in India… Gaffes, snubs, pageantry, and political intrigue

Inside India #14: India’s tea plantations and why there’s no such thing as chai tea

Inside India #15: India’s railways – nostalgia, bloodshed, and records

Inside India #16: India’s Freemasons – ritual, mystery, and Imperial legacy

Inside India #17: Simla – summer capital of the Raj

Inside India #18: Eating the dead – the Parsees of India

Inside India #19: Christian missionaries in India – churches, cartridges, and the clap

Inside India #20: The truth about the Black Hole of Calcutta

Inside India #21: The Bombay Dog Riots

Inside India #22: The Indian Mutiny – how a bullet cartridge ignited a rebellion

Inside India #23: When Tagore met Einstein – India’s Nobel Prize-winning poet meets the great scientist

Inside India #24: Mumbai’s The Divine Comedy – the treasure for which Mussolini offered £1m

Inside India #25: The Indians who invented fingerprint classification

Inside India #26 – Red India: Communism on the subcontinent

Inside India #27: Ramanujan: the man who dreamed of infinity

Inside India #28: The forgotten fallen – Soldiers of the subcontinent in WW1

Inside India #29 : The Amritsar Massacre – a mass murder that ignited a revolution

Inside India #30: Older, bigger and brasher than Hollywood – India’s film industry

Inside India #31: Gandhi’s Salt March – bringing down an empire with a handful of salt

Inside India #32: The Indo-German Conspiracy in WW1

Inside India #33: India’s Tiger Legion – when Indian soldiers fought in the German army

Inside India #34: The Ghosts of Partition

Inside India #35: Killing Gandhi – the man who assassinated the Mahatma

Inside India #36: India after Independence – Nehru’s defining decade

Inside India #37: Bombay’s jazz era

Inside India #38: India’s billion dollar temple treasure and its cobra guardians

Inside India #39: The Headhunters of Nagaland

Inside India #40: The Emergency Years

Inside India #41: From Bombay to Mumbai: India’s city of dreams

Inside India #42: Slumdogs and skyscrapers – what Danny Boyle got wrong about Mumbai’s slums

Inside India #43: “Hello, my name is Dave” – India’s call centre phenomenon

Inside India #44: Drought, suicide and Artificial Intelligence – the plight of India’s farmers 

Inside India #45 – Big Fat Asian Weddings… and the costs they impose on the poor

Inside India #46 – Cricket: the subcontinent’s most popular religion?

Inside India #47 – The Indian Civil Service: when bureaucrats ruled an empire

Inside India #48: A Land of Diversity

Inside India #49: An Indian on Mars?

Great Indian Novels

Great Indian Novels #1 – A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

Great Indian Novels #2 – Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

Great Indian Novels #3 – Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Great Indian Novels #4 – The White Tiger by Arvind Adiga

Great Indian Novels #5 – The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Great Indian Novels #6 – The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Great Indian Novels #7 – A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

Great Indian Novels #8: – Sacred Games by Vikram Chanda

Great Indian Novels #9: – A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

Great Indian Novels #10: – Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh

Blogs about how to improve your creative writing

Is this a dagger I see before me? Lessons from 30 years of writing

When History brings time to a standstill…

Genesis: where do book ideas come from?
Overcoming writer’s block – the Holy Grail of Writerdom
Lessons from Harper Lee – how to write that all important second novel

Do writers need a special place to write

Forensic science and police procedure – how the investigative procedure really works

Blogs about crime festivals and literary festivals

Theakston’s at Harrogate: a criminally good crime writing festival

Granite Noir – Aberdeen’s festival of firsts
A paean to Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Festival 
Bradford Literature Festival – a unique cultural experience 
Emirates Literary Festival Dubai – a desert extravaganza 
How to make the most of World Book Day
New Year’s Resolutions for writers (or how not to be a dick at networking events)

Blogs about literacy, reading and libraries

Librarians – the real Guardians of the Galaxy
Indepdendent Bookshop Week – why buying local can make you happy
The joys and woes of the independent bookseller