I've been thinking on the matter of hobbies, after another fine question arrived in my inbox.
It was this - why doesn't Dan, or any of the other characters in the tvdetective series, have a hobby? Would this not help make them more rounded people?
I do sometimes worry about how thoughtful my readers can be. I never claimed my books to be high literature - just a few hours worth of passably passable entertainment, some thrills, a good mystery and perhaps the odd insight into the world of television, (and my strange mind).
Anyway, I shall attempt to answer, and I think there are two parts to the response.
Firstly, there's the dull old practical one. You only have a limited number of words to play with when writing a book (circa 100 thousand), so the more time you spend on background characterisation like hobbies, the less you have for the real action and plot. And that tends to be the most important element in crime fiction.
But yes, of course, the characters have to be real. And that's where the second part of the answer comes in. My dear friends do have hobbies, but not necessarily of a widely-recognised kind.
I could, for example, argue that Dan's hobby forms the core of the series - solving crimes. It's not his real job, just something he finds interesting and has a talent for. He does also have a kind of other hobby in exploring the wonderful Devon countryside with Rutherford.
As for Adam, he's rather too dedicated to his detective work and family, Claire has her hands more than full dealing with Dan and his daft emotions and vulnerabilities, and El's driven so much by getting those lucrative snaps that you could call it his job and his hobby all in one!
And as for the (alleged) master of the gang (I say alleged as they don't always do as they're told by any means), I suppose his main hobby is writing. It's not my day job, after all, and I'm just fortunate enough that some kind people saw fit to publish my scribblings, and some even kinder folk decided to read them.
I also enjoy my walking, particularly around the beautiful River Exe, and composing the odd curious Tweet (as you may have noticed), plus some judging at Beer Festivals, and tending to my bizarre and often wayward gang of real-life friends. That lot's more than enough for a man.
So, I hope that's a satisfactory answer to the question of hobbies. Finally then, to a hobby that's been with me since the earliest days I can remember, singing along in the car to the tunes my parents would choose, and a song to go with this blog. Where would the world be without music?
Today, I choose T-Rex and Hot Love, as it's one of those that has stuck in my mind since the faraway days of being so young - I must only have been around 3 when it came out. I can still see Dad and I, drumming on the dashboard...
Don't forget, it you've got a question you'd like to ask about the tvdetective books, or any area of my writing, I always enjoy hearing from you. You can get in touch via the Contact page of the site - www.thetvdetective.com/contact.html And if you want to follow my Tweetings, you can find me @thetvdetective