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A Gentle Writing Tip

I love my readers for many reasons (not least that they indulge my bizarre imagination), but one of my favourites is the questions they ask.

I receive a range - lots about my literary friends (or characters, if you want to be ruthless), and the plots and settings of the tvdetective books, but also about many other areas of writing.

I haven't answered a question in a while, so I thought now would be a good time, particularly as it's a musing well worth sharing with all aspiring authors out there.

(And I know, from the feedback I get, that... Read more

The Golden Ticket

Apologies to the great Roald Dahl for a little shameless borrowing from his immense imagination, but I thought it was a fine title for this musing.

I'm not talking a chocolate factory here, but the ticket that being an author brings you to just about anywhere, anyone and anything in this wonderful world.

A small example from this week - I was invited to talk about the tvdetective books to the East Devon Luncheon Club in Sidmouth.

Sidmouth lunch.jpg

The setting was beautiful, the splendour of the Victoria Hotel, and the audience very kind.

The age range... Read more

The Fear of Nothing

I had to face one of a writer's greatest fears this week.

It's a strange one, because it's a fear of nothing - or, perhaps, nothingness might be a better way of putting it.

I'd done all the planning and preparation for a new book. I'd spent months working on the characters, the plot, the settings, all the usual elements. And so came the time to write the first line...

... and I couldn't do it. I hesitated, pulled up, stopped with fear.

Oh, the blank page - how can it be so foreboding?

I had to take myself for... Read more

Romance and Reality

So many people say to me; I'd love to be a writer. It's such a wonderful and romantic way of life - isn't it?

Well... yes and no.

Let me make clear at the start that I delight in writing. It's a joy and also a privilege, and I'm very grateful to be a part of it.

When I began, I never expected to get published, let alone repeatedly. And all that I've learnt, the places I've been, the people I've met... it's been an exhilarating experience.

On the subject of which, let me share a quick photo, as... Read more

The Notebook Hierarchy

One of the wonders of writing is how much you learn about yourself, and I've made a new discovery - although I'm now wondering what it says about my character (which perhaps isn't wise.)

I realised yesterday, as I searched for an almost lost idea amongst my ramshackle archives, that I have a hierarchy of notebooks.

Allow me to introduce you to Level One (and this is a tad embarrassing) -

hog notes.jpg

This is the notebook I take out when I fear there's a danger of losing it - like to a pub night, or to... Read more