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The Irony of Crime Writing

I was totting up how many people I've murdered / killed / maimed / blackmailed / kidnapped / tormented etc this week, and it's quite a number. 

(For the benefit of any law enforcement agencies reading, I emphasise this is all part of my crime writing, ie. FICTIONAL (put the handcuffs away, please.))

But nonetheless, this impressive tally of misery does always make me think about the great irony of being a crime writer. 

Crime is such a popular genre, yet it's so unpleasant! And people love talking to me about what horrors I'm planning next. 

Take this example. I'm... Read more

Love and Hate Behind the Scenes

Writing is all about relationships, for me. 

Whether it's with your characters, readers, publishers, agent, libraries, bookstores or whatever, the author is at the centre of it all. 

But there's one relationship which can be a real love-hate story. And that's with your editor. 

I'm currently going through the editing process for my young adults' novel, and wow, have there been some swings in feeling. 

The lady in question, who I shall refer to as Codename B, sent me the latest edits a couple of weeks ago. Bear in mind this is after several months of us working together on... Read more

Getting into Character

I've discovered a powerful new way to help writers bring our characters to life. 

I'm just back from the wonderful Swanwick Writers' Summer School, where I've been teaching novel writing and having a fantastic time (many thanks to all who came on my course and everyone I met - a truly joyful bunch of people. It was a brilliant experience, a real highlight of my year.)

Apart from the teaching, I was also, somehow, lured into taking a part in the end of week play, a pantomime version of Romeo and Juliet - 

Play Cathy and me.JPG

... Read more

Feeling it

There's a certain something that sets a writer apart. 

I was having a pleasant evening out with my friends this weekend, celebrating a birthday. We were walking along the river in Exeter, heading for a pub (surprise, surprise), and rounded a corner to a beautiful view - 

moon blog.jpg

A full moon had stopped by to cast its reflection into the river. My friends passed a few comments on how pretty it looked and carried on. But not me. 

This wasn't a moment to waste. I wanted to feel it a little more. 

So I stood there,... Read more