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The Art of Little People

I try to be honest with myself about my books, and how my writing is progressing. 

I do believe that writing is like every other art in that you improve with practice. And I think - hope?! - I am getting better as I go along.

On the subject of which, there was one specific feature of the latest tvdetective book, Shadows of Justice, which I was particularly pleased with -

The minor characters.

These folk are one of the greatest challenges for an author, as they're very tricky to get right.  By their nature, you only have a limited... Read more

The Conveyor Belt

I was warned about the conveyor belt years ago, when I first began writing and was starting to try to get published.

At that stage, it sounds like a dream.  You're desperate to get onto it.  But when you've actually managed to get a book out, and - heaven forfend! - another one is commissioned, or perhaps even more, that's when you start to feel it.

It's how authors often refer to the continual demand of publishers for more books - the pressure of expectation.  If your first effort has done reasonably well and made them some money, they immediately... Read more

The Unifying Spirit

Writing means many things to me, but last week, for the first time, I had a sense of what a remarkably unifying force it can be.

On reflection, I should have expected it.  When you come to think about it, we're all taught how to read and write from such an age that it means it's ingrained. But I think now I appreciate just how deep that feeling runs.

I had the pleasure of teaching creative writing for an afternoon at Plympton Library, after doing a book talk there (this is me in full flow.)

Simon at Plympton.JPGRead more

So far so good...

It's five days since publication of Shadows of Justice, and I'm a relieved author.

So far, all is going well.  Phew!

I've given the first talks about the book.  They've got good audiences and been well received, happily, in particular when I give a reading from the book.

This is the most nerve wracking part of all.  Will the audience feel the scene?  Will they be carried along with it? Will they believe in the characters, the setting, the action? 

I'm delighted to report that so far, they have.  There has been quiet, closed eyes, imaginations at work, and plenty... Read more