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My Yearly Children

I count myself very lucky in everything I do - the TV work, the writing, the places I get to visit and the people I meet. But of it all, what means the most to me is the careers work.

It's how I've come to think of it - as my yearly children.

Each year, I get to mentor a couple of students from Exeter University who want to find their way into a career in the media.  And one of the great delights is watching them grow.

I usually meet someone brimming with talent, but a little unsure of... Read more

Reflections of Character

When you write these book things it's inevitable that parts of yourself slip into them - but I'm continually being surprised where and how.

I haven't answered a question for a while, so for today's ramblings/musings I thought I would, and it's taken me on a pleasantly surprising tour of my personality.

The question was this - "Your love of Devon is obvious from the tvdetective books, particularly Dan's journeys into the countryside with Rutherford, but is there one walk that's your favourite above all others?"

The answer is yes, and more of that in a moment.

First, the point... Read more

Flirtations of the Mind

This may come as a surprise to you, but... I've had an idea.

Actually, I quite often have ideas.  It's just that they're commonly not terribly good, so nothing much comes of them. 

But this one I like.

It's a radical piece of potential organisation and planning.  Because this idea is for the new tvdetective book after the one that's not even been published yet.

Wow! I told you it was boldly and innovatively organised.

But, before we can go any further together, as ever with ideas, we've got to go through the dating process to see if we're compatible.

... Read more

An Author's Christmas

Ok, I know it's not quite Xmas time yet, but it's the feeling of the moment in the mind of this writer. 

Perhaps the countdown to Christmas would be a better way of putting it.  It's now just under seven weeks until the new tvdetective book, Shadows of Justice, is published, and I'm in the process of busily working myself into a frenzy.

I've said it before, but there's no better comparison I can think of - it takes me back to being a child, and watching the days pass, ready for the arrival of Santa.

As is the way... Read more

Candles in the Darkness

In my traditional melodramatic way, I've been musing upon what I might leave behind should I exit stage left this curious drama called life.

I know I'm relatively young and ought not be thinking such thoughts, but I suppose it's a consequence of how the year has started - with the loss of more family, and in this case the closest of the close.

It struck particularly hard on Thursday evening, when I had the privilege of being invited to St James School in Exeter, to hand out the awards at the prizegiving ceremony for the youngsters who'll be leaving... Read more

The Upside Down Excitement of Writing

It's a common complaint of mine that the excitement of this writing lark is back to front.

For me, the part that's the most fun is the idea.  That one little grain of grit which grows to become the beautiful pearl.

If you analyse most books - and it's certainly true with the tvdetective series - at their heart lies one fundamental idea, character, event, or premise.  There's much else built upon it, but that's the foundation.

And that's the part I love.  Finding the foundation of inspiration and feeling it grow; shaping it, madly scribbling out page after page... Read more

A Youthful Inspiration

One of the greatest joys of this writing life is that inspiration can come visiting in the most unlikely of places and at the strangest of times.

It happened to me yesterday, when I was lecturing in careers in the media at Exeter University -

Simon Exeter Careers talk 005.JPG

It's something I love doing for all the reasons you've heard before - putting a little back into the community, offering the students a thought about a rewarding way of life, feeling young again as I get to engage with the future of the nation, delighting in... Read more