Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2012

Chinatown Nights - End of Chapter Three (Extract)

Anna May Wong. I am currently (August 31, 2012) six days away from the end of my Kickstarter campaign for my novel-in-progress, Chinatown Nights - a noir love story and thriller, set in 1919, that overturns the racial and sexual stereotypes of its day, but which is also very much about NOW. Imagine Blade Runner meets The Maltese Falcon and you will get a sense of the tone I am striving to achieve. This brief extract from the novel is from the end of Chapter Three.  Sam Edmunds, a ne'er-do-well adventurer just arrived in London from New York, has found himself caught up in gunfire at an illicit drinking club run by a powerfully self-made and self-defined Chinese woman, Lady Shao (based on an amalgam of various real-life women of the period, including the wonderful Anna May Wong ) - a woman branded in reality by the sensationalist pictorial press of the day, " The Madonna of the Underworld. " Both Sam and Lady Shao have been interviewed by the police, but


The NEW KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN for Chinatown Nights is now "live" - with a more realistic goal of $2,000 and a shorter time period of 14 days. The rewards tiers have also been simplified to four levels (although you can give more at each level): $25, $100, $500 and $1,000 (which secures a character in the book named after you). Your credit card will not be charged for your pledge to the first campaign, because that did not meet its goal. That campaign ends today. I reall y appreciate your generosity and support for the novel and very much hope that you will pledge again to the new campaign at: Please also tell your friends and share the link! The new campaign ends on Thursday September 6th, so please pledge before then, if you can. Thank you, Alexander

Happy Birthday Joe Buffalo

Photograph: Alexander Chow-Stuart. Today would have been (astonishingly for me and Ann Totterdell, his mother) my first son Joe Buffalo's 29th birthday. When Joe died at the age of five of Wilms tumor in 1989, he wanted to be a seagull or a dolphin.  This photograph, which I took in Santa Cruz on Monday, is to honor his beautiful, wonderful, funny personality and his perfect life (it has to be what the cosmos intended and therefore can only be natural, true and perfect).  Peace and unending, infinite love to Joe Buffalo...and Happy Birthday Little Star!

Condolences To Rafalca Romney

Horse Head by Michael Drummond. Condolences to Rafalca Romney on being passed over as Mittens Romney's vice-presidential pick. After all the promises...and the Olympic elimination! A sugar cube is no substitute. And, of all the contenders, Rafalca really knew how to run!

Tien Chuk Temple - Chinatown Nights

Tien Chuk Temple Courtyard. It's strange how, with writing, certain totems come to capture a spirit you wish to bring to a novel or screenplay. With Chinatown Nights , one of the images that has been with me since the 1990s is this old photograph of Tien Chuk Temple Courtyard, which a friend, Tommy Chen, sent me years ago (he also gave me a wonderful miniature Chinese Buddhist prayer scroll, which I still have). There is something about the photograph, perhaps the formality of the pose combined with the shadows and the giant paper lantern, that is extraordinarily intriguing to me. The photo captures the shadowy darkness the novel has always had, and even though there is no hint of technology about it, for me it is as if electrical sparks are about to explode across the image - perhaps because that is the energy I have always wanted for the book: the eruption and disruption of the technological revolution of the early 20th Century - and of now. ( This p

Arrivederci Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal, left, with Federico "Fred" Fellini. Photo courtesy Guardian/AP. I cannot let Gore Vidal's  passing go without a brief mention of the huge influence he had on me as a writer, both in terms of encouraging me to love the written word and subversive wit, but also to believe that the writer has a role to play in society as a public provocateur and commentator, both of which Vidal did with vast intelligence, grace, and acerbic, often unforgiving humor. I had the immense good fortune to meet Mr Vidal a couple of years ago at a Hollywood Hills party, thrown by our wonderful British friend, Stephen Fry , and there was not the slightest disappointment - quite the reverse: I was somewhat terrified of what to say, to avoid appearing foolish. Gore was in a wheelchair and rather frail, yet still he held court with a kind of imperial glee, very much the man once quoted as saying, "There is not one single human problem that could not be solved if people would s