I am an enthusiastic writer, film fanatic and avid reader of crime fiction. Authors I admire (old and new) include Raymond Chandler, Ed McBain, Ross Macdonald, Ian Rankin, Craig Johnson, Elmore Leonard, Ernest Tidyman, Craig Russell, Robert Crais, James Lee Burke, Max Allan Collins and Mickey Spillane.
My lifelong interest in films – from old classics to modern cinema – means I have an extensive collection of over 2,000 titles. A lot of my teenage years in the 1970s were spent in rickety old cinemas in Bury and Bolton watching the latest releases and re-releases. On this site, I am publishing a free PDF monthly round-up of all the new movie releases in my UK Monthly Film Review.
Additionally, I have a keen interest in music and have been to many concerts over the years. My favourite bands include Genesis, The Beatles, Rush, Marillion, Tears for Fears, Supertramp, Elbow, AC/DC, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, ELO, Steve Winwood, Del Amitri and Led Zeppelin to name a few. I even played keyboards in a rock band called Bad Habits for 17 years (1991-2008) touring the pubs and clubs of North West England and recording the CD Battles in 1995. The band still plays today.
My latest film, book and music reviews are posted on my blog.
My earliest writing efforts were a number of well-received short stories in a wide range of styles and genres. I was short-listed in the Writer’s Forum magazine short story competition for Lightning Never Strikes Twice in 2010, an affectionate parody of the pulp PI fiction of the 1940s and 50s and its follow-up Fork Lightning in 2012 – both featuring George “Lightning” Bolt. Lightning Never Strikes Twice went on to be published by World Reader in 2013 as part of a collection to help spread e-books and literacy in developing countries.
My main focus, however, is writing books on popular culture, the first of which was The World of Shaft – a history and analysis of Ernest Tidyman’s black private detective John Shaft, covering his adventures both in print and on screen. The book was published by McFarland & Co. on 28 September 2015.
I also contributed a piece on the Shaft novels to Andrew Nette and Iain McIntyre’s book Sticking It To the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction, 1956 to 1980, which was published in November 2019 by PM Press.
My latest book, The Songs of Genesis: A Complete Guide to the Studio Recordings, is a guide to the music of the rock band Genesis. It is a project I started way back in 1998! I had parked it for the best part of twenty years before finally finishing it in September 2019. The book was published by McFarland & Co. on 14 April 2020 and was one of 16 finalists for the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) award for Best Research in Recorded Rock or Soul Music.
I am now working on a book project with Gary Gillies, provisionally titled Harry O: A Viewing Companion, covering the acclaimed 1970s PI series starring David Janssen. We hope to have the book published by McFarland & Co. in early 2024.
Here are ways of keeping track of my work:
My Facebook “Writer” Page
The World of Shaft Facebook page
The Songs of Genesis Facebook page
My GoodReads author page
My Amazon UK author page
My Amazon US author page