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Eyes Forward

I always grow reflective in these dying days of the year (so much so that I can start to appear like a high-vis jacket!).  Sorry, I'll dispense with the jokes (alleged) and stick to the point.

Which is this - I'm trying not to get nostalgic, downbeat, and feel the weight of the passage of time, and instead to look forwards.

So, here we go, in my final blog of 2012, a glance towards the new year as it looms large upon us.

One of the great experiences of this year was the play, An Unnecessary Murder, and people kindly... Read more

The Impossible Holiday

I don't like failing, but on this occasion I've realised there's no choice.  And strangely, I'm not in the slightest upset by it.

Before Xmas came upon us, I'd decided to give myself a couple of days off from writing. Just two, nothing excessive, only a little break to recharge over the festive season.

No chance!  Not a hope.

I lasted a couple of hours at most.  Then my mind wandered to a new plot I've been thinking about for a tvdetective book.  Some fresh ideas sparked.  And there I was, grabbing a pad and busily writing them all down. ... Read more

A major and minor conflict

Sad to report at this festive time of year, but I've come up against a conflict.

It's one familiar to writers of crime novels, but that's not to say it makes it any easier to resolve. 'tis this - how to make minor characters feel real when you've only got a limited amount of words to lavish upon the poor creatures.

It comes down to the old debate between plot and character lead books. The majority of a crime novel tends to be dominated by the plot, so that's where the mass of the writing has to go.

You're always... Read more

A question of feelings

I haven't answered a question for a while, so 'tis that time again - and it's a good and timely one, as so often they are.

I've been asked this - how do I feel in the run up to a book being published?

Excitement is the headline.  Not a day goes by without me thinking about it.  A seasonal comparison is that it's like having an extended advent calendar.  I do tend to mark off each day in my mind.

The publication date for the new tvdetective book - all being well with the editing etc. -... Read more

Pride and sadness

The new book is complete and has been sent off to the publishers.

I'm still not allowed to tell you the title.  It's being kept back, ready for the trumpeting of the marketing launch.

But I can say that it's number six in the tvdetective series, it's 98,000 words long, and - yet again - one of the main themes is justice and revenge, that old Hall favourite.

The body count is quite high for one of my books (I'm not usually that bloodthirsty, but must have been in a grim mood when I was planning it), there are explosions... Read more

The last word

That sounds rather melodramatic (and perhaps very me), but what I mean is the last word on the cruise.

Now that I'm back on the lovely firm land, the wonderful stuff that doesn't bob up and down all the time, I've been doing a little reflecting (yes, ok, that's also very me.)

It's been interesting how many people have referred to my "jolly" and "holiday", since I've been back, when I have to say the cruise was neither of the above.

I know it was a trip overseas, and to some fine places, and I'm grateful for that.  But... Read more

The last few hours

We're less than 24 hours from home, and so 'tis time for a few final thoughts on this cruising adventure.

Firstly, I'll be a good professional (for once) and do the work bit. 

The final lecture, the R in my MURDER acronym has been delivered.  It stood for ridiculousness, and contained some of the strange and bizarre experiences that can befall a TV reporter and author.  And there are plenty of them, believe me.

The idea was to cheer us up as the end of the hols neared.  And it seemed to work.  As so often, the favourite story... Read more