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The TV Detective

Ah, Xmas time...

Apart from a few very pleasant days off, it's also given me a chance to work on the edits of The TV Detective, and I'm enjoying it. 

It's a strange experience, because often, the suggested changes come back from the publishers a good while after you've written the original book, so it's almost like discovering the story anew.  It's been interesting to see how the relationship between Dan and Adam develops, and to follow their first escapades together.

It feels so long ago now that I began sketching out how the pair met, but in fact it's only just a little over five years. So much has happened in that time! 

I hope you'll enjoy the book too. It should help to answer a lot of the questions readers have been asking about how the tvdetective series began.  I think I can promise you the odd surprise or two as well.

Publication date is Feb 1st - provided I keep getting on with these edits!

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Merry Xmas!

A very merry Xmas to you from all at the tvdetective.  Here's hoping it's a fine one.

It's Xmas Eve and I've actually done all the required shopping, I've got a few days off to look forward to, and so I'm feeling relaxed and contented.

The time off has also given me space to come up with a few ideas for new books in the series.  I'll spend some time working on the ideas over the hols and see which shape up into adventures for Dan and Adam. 

In the meantime, wishing you a great Xmas time. Cheers!

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Exeter Waterstone's

Thanks to everyone who came in to Waterstone's in Exeter on Thursday night to have a chat and pick up a signed copy of one of the tvdetective books.

I meant what I said about getting in touch to give me feedback about the books - it does help me to learn what readers like and don't like - so please do. 

You can send me your thoughts via the contacts page -

But most of all, I hope you enjoy reading the books over Xmas!

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Xmas presents

If you're doing some Xmas shopping tomorrow night (Thurs) in Exeter and scrabbling around for present ideas, here's an offer.

I'll be in the Waterstone's in the High Street from 6.30, signing copies of The Judgement Book, and the other tvdetective novels, The Death Pictures and Evil Valley too.  I'll be very happy to dedicate books to friends, family and loved ones. 

There are details of the signing on the news and events page -

After that, I must confess I shall be scuttling off to do some Xmas shopping of my own.  Funny how fast it looms up... and how unprepared I always seem to be...

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Plymouth signing

Thanks to all who popped in to Watestone's in Plymouth yesterday to have a chat about the tvdetective books, and pick up copies.

It was heartening to find out how many people had already read either The Death Pictures, or Evil Valley, and now wanted The Judgement Book.  The feedback I get from readers is an invaluable part of the writing process.  It helps no end to find out what you like and don't like, so I can try to improve future books.

A lot of rot is talked about writing - the mystery of creativity, structure and pace, the claim that some are born authors and don't have to try, all that stuff - but I have to say, I see it as a career like many others.  You're not a master carpenter, or sculptor when you start off, you get better by learning.  It's just the same with writing.

So, the feedback helps, and thanks then to all who stopped in for a chat to give me some.  I hope you enjoy the books you bought.  Please do get in touch to let me know what you thought when you've finished them.  You can do so via the contacts page -

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Strange ideas

I'm in the "ideas phase" for new books.

This is one of my favourite parts of the writing process.  It's fairly simple and goes like this - sit down with pad of paper and pen and think of bizarre, strange, quirky, cryptic, original, odd, twisted, insane, double crossing and entertaining plots, combined with a few similarly interesting characters to go in them.

Occasionally, I have to admit, the thinking is assisted by sitting in a pub with a couple of beers.  For inspirational purposes only, naturally.

So, if you see me in a bar, apparently staring into space and lost in the world of dreams, fear not.  It's normal for subject.  Or this subject, at least.

What I particularly like about the ideas phase is that in its initial stages they tend to be really whacky, before finally calming down to something approaching a feasible plot.  I've had a few odd ones over the last couple of days, including one based on ballroom dancing.  I think that was in part inspired by a dream I had when I was a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing.

And not terribly successfully, either.  A sense of rhythm has always been noticeably absent in my life.

Anyway, what this was all about was that I think the outlines of a new plot are emerging and I'm very much enjoying shaping them up.  Call it an Xmas present to myself! 

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Xmas time

Call me an acute observer of life, but I know this because cards have started arriving - thanks to everyone who's sent one - and the high streets are crowded with stressed shoppers, swinging a multitude of plastic bags around.

I've also been asked to do another book signing, so if you'd like a distinctive Xmas present, dedicated to family, friend or loved one, do pop along for your personalised copy of one of the tvdetective books.

There are details of the signings on the news and events page -

It's probably a tad too early to wish you a Merry Xmas, so instead I'll wish you a successful and relatively stress free run up to Xmas.  Good luck to us all!

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The TV Detective

The first draft of the new book is done.  Yeah!

It's called The TV Detective, and is the story of how Dan and Adam met and began working together.  It's a reworking of my first fumbling attempts at writing a book, which led to A Popular Murder.  But don't worry if you've read that - the new version is very different.

And better - or at least I hope so!

It's been a real pleasure to write.  There's something curiously entertaining about going right back to the start and meeting all the characters for the first time.  It's almost like time travelling - to a school reunion, being the age you were then, but knowing what you know now.

And I can hardly believe I just wrote that sentence.  Maybe it's because it's a Friday?!

Anyway, back to the point.  The new book's now with the editors.  Given a couple of read throughs and final amendments, most of which I can do when I get some time off over Xmas, all should be ready for publication at the start of February.

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Christmas and book signings

I hesitate to say it, but Xmas is, if not upon us, then surely looming up fast on the horizon.

I popped into town yesterday to get a sandwich, and Xmas music was trickling - and in some cases blaring - from many a shop.

It appears Dec 1st is the chequered flag for the country to go into full Xmas mode. 

I have given myself an early Xmas present, or at least achievement.  After another long recording session at the weekend, the audio versions of the first three tvdetective books - The Death Pictures, Evil Valley and The Judgement Book - are finally finished.

I feel a tad odd about this.  I thought I'd be relieved - it has been a big chunk of work, and it's remarkable how tiring just talking to a microphone can be - but instead I'm feeling a sort of post-big project emptiness.  It's like a good friend who you've got used to having around has suddenly left your life. 

Even when I wasn't recording before, I was looking through the books to see what came next, what kind of tone and pace to put into the recordings, that sort of thing.  Now I'm just back to thinking about and sketching out possible ideas for new books in the series, and it's not quite so exciting.

Anyway, back to what I was talking about at the start of this blog - as there are now no excuses left, this weekend I'm going to get on with some Xmas shopping.  It's not something I greatly enjoy, or indeed am good at.  The last time I tried to make a start on it, a fortnight ago, I only managed to buy a couple of things for myself.

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