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New book… out in 2014

I just finished writing my latest book, Best Times Ever, for Hardie Grant Publishers – working day and night to make the deadline. I did so (a week early, in fact), but the London office looked at it and said “You know, this could be great to release in February!” The Melbourne office agreed, so [...]

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So long… and thanks for all the Times

This week was meant to be my final column in The Canberra Times. I regret to say that it was not published, because one of the editors (who shall remain nameless) was not happy with me dedicating the entire column to farewelling my readers (many of whom had been kindly asking about the status of [...]

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How to write an awesome TV script

The Sydney Morning Herald – 31 October 2012 At the London Screenwriters Festival last week, director David Yates was talking about superstar writers. He knows about them, having translated J.K. Rowling’s last three Harry Potter novels to the big screen. But previously he did television, including the 2003 BBC thriller State of Play, working from [...]

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Golf – as explained by a movie buff

At last I can reveal why I never made it big in the corporate world. You might have thought that, like most sane people, I just wasn’t interested in all that stuff. But the truth is: I’m a lousy golfer. Playing golf with the boss, as part of my cunning plan to climb the corporate [...]

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Most Influential People?

Time magazine has been once again working on their list of the world’s 100 Most Influential People (at the moment). As usual, I’ll probably disagree with most of it. Whenever someone comes up with a list of the most influential people (or Australians, or politicians, or writers, or billy-cart racers, or whatever), and they take [...]

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Why you should be a movie star

The more I hear about the tough life of movie stars, the more I wonder why so many people dream of having that job. I’ve never done it myself, but as someone who writes about the movies, I’ve met a few people who’ve had this job and said that they loved it (including Heath Ledger, [...]

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The Inevitable Oscars blog

As we move closer to the Oscars, I’ve been looking for the usual stories. Just as every Australian federal election year has several months of political pundits speculating about the election date (except for this year – ha ha, pundits!), there are certain stories you get from entertainment writers during awards season, all talking about [...]

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Too soon?

Within a day of the Sandy Hook tragedy in December, people started talking about gun control laws. The response from many was: “Too soon!” They were supposed to mourn first (for some undetermined period of time), before they considered how to prevent further mass shootings in the US. I’ve never subscribed to this attitude. When [...]

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Lake Tahoe Days

When can you start looking at the bright side of a major tragedy without seeming insensitive, or people muttering “Too soon”? Hurricane Sandy in October caused widespread damage and killed 253 people, but I read soon afterwards that it was good for at least someone: namely, ski resort operators in the west of the U.S. [...]

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Thrilling to The Killing

American critics have been raving about Homeland being groundbreaking and innovative, which is ridiculous, because it’s a remake of an Israeli series. Sure, it goes places where American shows have never been, but the Israelis have already been there, done that. It reminds me of the praise bestowed, 20 years ago, on Seinfeld. Whoever would [...]

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