A curious feeling...

I'm approaching the end of the writing of the new tvdetective book, and experiencing some odd sensations.

The first, and most straightforward, is that I'm enjoying it immensely.  It's strange to say, but I find myself wanting to find out what's going to happen.  Now, as the author, clearly I should know that, and I do!  But it's as if I want the relief for the characters, of knowing what's going to happen to them,and how the story will conclude.

The second feeling, which is more difficult to describe, is one of apprehension. 

When I write a book, I... Read more

The importance of inspiration

Some very important memories have come back strongly to me this week.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to Park School in Barnstaple on Thursday, to work with Year 8 on an Enterprise Day - a challenge to get them to think about designing and managing the London Olympics of next year.  In teams, they had to work out schedules of events and entertainments, budgets, catering, design mascots, T-shirts, tickets, a whole range of problems.

Then came the sting - they had to perform a presentation to the whole of the rest of the year, marked by 5 evil... Read more

Causing consternation

I appear to have unwittingly caused some consternation with my last blog, when I wrote about the joys of riot training and it giving me an idea for the final tvdetective book.

Firstly, I'm a tad saddened to say it wasn't the riot training part which created the worry - a grand total of no one at all has enquired as to whether I'm still ok, in one piece, a little bruised, singed by the petrol bombs etc.

No, what's caused the interest is the idea of the series coming to an end.  Let me make it clear here that... Read more

A fascinating interruption

Usually I don't care for being interrupted in the middle of writing, and particularly not when I'm in the closing stages of a book, as is currently the case.  But on this occasion I didn't mind at all.

I've been away for a few days in Kent, at the Metropolitan Police's Specialist Training Centre. This is a compound centred around a mock town where officers are drilled in all elements of crowd and riot control.

I've been learning how to survive while working in a riot, and an extraordinary experience it's been. The last time I was in anything... Read more

Ah, fair summer...

How sweetly summer has been flirting with us of late, and how very welcome her fickle attentions are.

I'm thinking not just as a long suffering member of the human race here - tired as most of us are with what's felt like an extended and bitter winter - but also as an attempted scribbler of the odd novel.

(And some odder than others I hear you say, but let's continue anyway...)

As an author, the longer, lighter and warmer mornings and evenings sure do help.  It's my routine to do most of my day's writing in the morn.  I... Read more

Rites of passage

There are more than a few rites of passage you have to go through as an author.  I've just completed another, and am feeling rather chuffed about it, in that somewhat pompous way with which regular readers of my musings will be more than familiar.

Thinking back, some of the highlights of the aforementioned -

Doing my first talk about the tvdetective books. I'll never forget this - I suppose for a scribbler it's kind of the literary equivalent of losing your virginity.  Or something such!

It was at Plympton Library, just outside Plymouth, on a dark winter's evening,... Read more


My last blog, on the subject of da yoof, and how mixing with a fine sample of them had given me an idea for a new tvdetective plot, has prompted a couple of questions on the same theme.

Where do I get ideas for books from?

Well, the answer, albeit a little odd, is everywhere.

As I've mentioned before, I always carry a notebook to jot down thoughts. These can be as tiny as a detail of description - yesterday, for example, I scribbled a couple of lines about the impressive ruffling of a tree by a couple of... Read more

Da yoof

I've been doing some careers work at Exeter University, trying to give the students an insight into the media and whether it might be for them.

Hence the correct young person speak title of this blog.  Or something such...

Anyway, before I go off on another Hall digression, the like of which you'll be more than familar with by now,  the point was this.

Young folk can get a very bad press, and often seem to be routinely portrayed as wearing hoodies to disguise their identity, whilst doing some mugging / drug dealing as they sport a knife (at... Read more