• This is a new piece that I wrote for the Guardian family section. It's based on a photo that gets a mention in The Day That Went Missing, but the book wasn't the time or place for the full story of what that photo demonstrated or made me feel. 'For most of my life, and I’m 50 now, one piece of information about my brother had blocked all others. “Dead” became the barrier; a restraining wall. Nicky’s deadness became his defining characteristic, although he must have had others: he was nine when he drowned. I was 11, his closest brother by age, but to contain the grief I had dismissed his character as provisional. He was a child. Now he

    Apr 11,
  • The British Archive for Contemporary Writing has now catalogued the contents of the suitcases I delivered last summer. I thought I had a jumble of papers and notebooks. But to an archivist I had a documentary history that could be organised within an inch of its life. The bits and pieces are kept in climate-controlled conditions in the basement of the library at the University of East Anglia, and the catalogue is now online. Of the various listings, the highlights include 'Rejection letters, 1989-2000 (folder)' and 'Incomplete novel, in style of Micky Spillane, 1990 (folder)'. Though for the key to my writing career nothing will ever quite beat: 'FORUM / EROTIC STORIES magazines, 1990-1992'. For details of the full collection, the archive has

    Apr 01,