So Dam Local


A thank you here to Cathy Leung and my friends at Salto’s SoDamLocal, a show in English on just about anything Amsterdam, for airing the first ever episode of the Amsterdam Writers Platform.

Check them out in October, as we talk to London-based – but soon to move back to town – author Marie Phillips.

Thanks guys!

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Amsterdam Writers Platform

Last Tuesday, on Salto (Amsterdam TV) program So Dam Local, episode one of the Amsterdam Writers Platform had its first airing.

Hosted by Bob Bragar, the AWP is a series of encounters with writers working in the English language, who either live and work in Amsterdam, or have somehow just been inspired by our so very photogenic, adopted hometown.

What we want to do is provide an attractive space, where one can explore the Amsterdam writers commmunity and meet the writers and their work. For now, we have several interviews lined up, but we eventually also want to provide news and just help you to connect with the English writing community and the work that is being produced here.

More to come very soon!


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Great initiative by Pittsburgh Writer!

Book Promotion!

The Hand Of Yemanja front cover filtered 1 web







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Return to Sender

Stephen Fry


Dear Mr. Fry,

The recipients of your letter are mere levers on a faulty machine that is neither fueled by a historical conscience, nor ever designed to produce anything other than an advertising platform.

Perhaps you could appeal to the athletes that will attend Mr. Putin’s games – because, yes, athletes will attend and Putin will have his games, as promised. (Fat chance David Cameron will risk getting his gas turned off during winter, don’t you think?) They, the athletes could be the ones to raise a rainbow flag during the opening ceremony or in salute to tolerance and civilized behavior with every medal that is won. You could even make an appeal to us, the public, who would otherwise be made accomplices to the persecution of homosexuals every time we shave our panty lines with a Gillette or flick out our Visas whenever we go to pay for one. You could ask every fifteen year-old kid to hack the shit out of this faulty machine and make the rainbow colors the official screensaver on every IOC computer for a while.

Don’t you think it would be better to just show Mr. Putin which machine was built to last longer?

Let us indeed have a coke and a smile during those two weeks, Mr. Fry!

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flatline 4Few things speak louder, I suppose, than a bi-annual sales report from a publisher. It so reveals the truth about artistic endeavor, about passion and yes, reciprocated love.

It so can be a reminder of what it means to empty out the content of your own heart for the world to trample and ignore, but also why you once decided to write in the first place – and for whom.

Oh, how I missed that fuck-all feeling that once told me: if there isn’t a book being published which you want to read, then you write it – for you!

But I too, of course, am the mutated baby of this monster we call ‘Market’, an addict to the drug that makes us believe that at the heart of everything there is a sound fucking business plan.

So, I too got on facebook and LinkedIn and set off to build a ‘Community’. I was told I needed a blog too – not a diary – but a blog: an on-going dialogue with an audience. A what?

Could it be that only psychopaths leave marks and that conquest is indeed the flip side of creation? Did I actually forget that expression is always personal, and that an audience of any significance is always ONE!?

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back to school

A couple of week ago I had the huge pleasure of visiting a fifth year, pre-exam class at Berlage Lyceum here in Amsterdam. I was invited my friend and fiction critique group colleague, Peter Crowe, who teaches English there.

I was the inaugural guest in a series of podcasts in which, for school audiences, Peter plans to invite different individuals working creatively with the English language in Amsterdam – of which there are surprisingly many, I should add.

(click the photo for entire interview)

I didn’t think I would enjoy talking to an audience of 16 year-olds about writing as much as I did. They seemed well prepared. That morning they had read parts of the book, and after Peter conducted his interview, hands went up all over the place with good questions that could only have come from genuine interest. A couple of his students revealed ambitions toward writing fiction themselves even, and I suspect there were more aspiring novelists in the class.

I sold three books too – and not even at a student discount!

I sure hope to do this more often.

Loved it.


July 12, 2013 · 12:35 pm


It doesn’t happen very often that my writing gets cut to shit in public. I assume that this is because most people are too polite and can appreciate the effort, regardless. But it does happen and it happened to me, the other day, by a known bully, however – at his house.

At a well chosen moment in a conversation getting underway with enough likeminded admirers around him – obviously – the bully said,

It could be that my English isn’t so good, but I didn’t understand what your book is about. There were words in there I didn’t know and your sentences are too complicated for me.

I thanked him for his candor. I told him that I too thought his English wasn’t that great, but that he had been brave to try.


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