More secrets

I've been on the receiving end of a few communications in recent days on the forthright lines of "don't be such a tease, what's all this you've been going on about secrets?!"

How can you ask an author of crime novels not to be a tease when that's exactly what he enjoys? Toying with poor readers and trying to put them off the scent.  It's called suspense and intrigue!

However... I shall try to explain.

It's down to a couple of things.  Firstly, it probably stems from the research I did for The Judgement Book, (tvdetective novel 4), which was... Read more

A Conference Report

I've just returned from a whirl of thought, energy, education and creativity - the phenomenon that is the Winchester Writers' Conference.

It really did feel like a carousel of excitement and enthusiasm, as hundreds of aspiring writers rushed back and forth between seminars, lectures and so many other activities.  An abiding memory will be sitting on the steps at the heart of the university, and watching people rush in all directions, a starburst of motion and colour, as they sought their next destinations.

I was teaching crime writing, and had a great time. I'd like to thank all those... Read more

A different kind of talking

As part of next week's teaching at the Winchester Writers' Conference, I've been asked to do a talk about the tvdetective books - but in a rather different way from usual.

Those who've suffered my ambling orations will know that I tend to make them light-hearted affairs, with a few (vaguely) amusing anecdotes from my life reporting and writing.  But this time, I've been asked to make the talk more thoughtful and serious.

Cue a mild panic, as I try to come to terms with those weighty demands. However!

I've spent the last couple of weeks thinking about what I'm... Read more

Secrets and surprises

I've just got back from a (richly deserved, I think you'll agree?) holiday.  And from this, I've concluded two things -

Holidays are good in that they exist.  They're less good in that they come to an end.

However, I had a splendid time. As with my dear friend Dan in the tvdetective books, I tend to holiday close to home, usually in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

The reasons are twofold - being frightened of flying (and I mean proper scared - wanting to open the plane door and get out, despite being 30,000 feet up) rather scuppers... Read more


What an extraordinary time the Queen's Diamond Jubilee was. Even that miserable bugbear of the British, the darned intemperate weather, couldn't dampen the enthusiasm.

Everywhere you looked were people determined to celebrate, and in great numbers.

It set me thinking about the times when communities really come together.  I see it myself in my day job as - as does Dan in the tvdetective books.  And it's always about the extremes of emotion.

In the mundane, ordinary days of life we plod onwards, often with little thought for much but simply surviving the week.  But when disaster strikes, it's about... Read more

A question of hobbies

I've been thinking on the matter of hobbies, after another fine question arrived in my inbox.

It was this - why doesn't Dan, or any of the other characters in the tvdetective series, have a hobby?  Would this not help make them more rounded people?

I do sometimes worry about how thoughtful my readers can be.  I never claimed my books to be high literature - just a few hours worth of passably passable entertainment, some thrills, a good mystery and perhaps the odd insight into the world of television, (and my strange mind). 

Anyway, I shall attempt... Read more