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The Unglamorous Truth

I've had several friends go through the process of being published now, and each has had a similar experience.

It's exactly the same as mine - not in the least how aspiring writers tend to dream of it - but all the more worth sharing for that.

The fantasy is that the phone goes and it's a publisher enthralled and entranced with your wonderful work, busily bidding huge advances and promising you the world, plus the moon and all the planets adjacent.

The reality is somewhat different.

Sorry, but it's true. It goes this way - you get a call... Read more

The Agony of Awaiting

I'm in author's limbo, and it's not plesant.

It's that agnoising stage that writers come to know so well, when you're waiting for something important but it won't come.

I shall explain -

But before I do, with that old writing trick of keeping you in suspense, a quick photo I took by the Exe today as I tried to distract myself from the waiting time. It's a favourite walk of mine when something is on my mind; the beauty of the river and the clownery of the geese, swans and ducks, it always helps to ease any troubles.

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The simplest way to build characters

I think that's the longest title I've ever given a blog. But fear not, I don't expect the actual ramble to be so protracted.

I had a problem recently - no, don't say it, I know what you're thinking - this was with a couple of minor characters for the new tvdetective book, which is due out in spring of next year.

They weren't quite working for me. They were almost there, say 90% complete, but not entirely whole and rounded. Something was missing and I couldn't quite see what.

I chased the problem around for a few days, and... Read more

The Unifying Force

A splendid time teaching crime writing in Torquay at the weekend has prompted a little reflection on the unifying power of books and authoring.

There was a lovely mix of people on the course, both older and younger; here are some of them, wrestling with an exercise I'd set on show and tell (while I disappeared looking for the power cord for the computer - the clue is on the screen!)

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One of the great things about writing is that it's not age discriminatory. You can do it however old you are, do it well,... Read more

Romance; real and fictional