It's now nine days until The Balance of Guilt is published, a good time I think to respond to the question - what's it like when a book comes out?

Incredibly exciting is the answer!

The only comparison I can make is like being a child at Xmas time.  You know the big day's coming, you know something special is going to happen and you find yourself counting off the days to get there.  And often impatiently so.

I thought the excitement might dim a little as The Balance of Guilt is the fifth in the tvdetective series, but it... Read more


A very flattering question has arrived, and it's this - do I come up with the ideas for the covers of the tvdetective books myself?

I wish I could say yes and take the credit - and indeed I'm tempted to do so - but the answer is a simple no.  They're the work of some very fine graphic artists, who are so creative and talented  as to be well outside of the Hall thinking range.

All they get is a summary of the book - some read the whole thing, but not many - and from that comes the... Read more


I was having a chat with another author this week, and we got talking about titles of books.

It's something I've never really thought about, which is odd, when you consider how important they are.  It must be the title and jacket which first attracts a browser to a book, followed by the blurb, then a dip inside to sample some of the writing.

I was surprised to hear that quite a few authors only come up with the title of their book when it's finished, and even then often with the input of their editor and publishers.  I hope... Read more

The weather

For an English author, given our preoccupation with the elements, a little musing about the weather can hardly fail.  So, here we go...

The apparent cancellation of summer - in mid August, naturally - has set me thinking about the place of the weather in the tvdetective books. Working through the editing for The Balance of Guilt, I've noticed that in just about every sequence I write I make some mention of it.

I suppose it's an obvious part of setting a scene, but I suspect there's more to it than that.  Sometimes, I just have a feeling that certain... Read more

Blogging the blog

Behind the odd (although perhaps very Hall title) is that I wanted to say something about the blog, as it's been just over a year now since I started this new fangled internet diary / confessional thing.

A confession first - I had to be hard persuaded that blogging was worthwhile.  Originally, I wondered whether I'd have enough of interest to say, let alone the discipline to do so. 

I suspect that came partly from my younger years, of trying to write a diary (one of those hideously old fashioned paper and pen types) and miserably failing, and partly... Read more

Summer stuff

A mix of blogging news this time.

Firstly, I'm on the final edits of The Balance of Guilt, which is good (for me, at least), because it means the book should be out on time; Mon, Sept 8th. Such is the degree of conviction - or perhaps hopefulness - more details have now gone up on the books page, including the cover, which I rather like.  If you're interested, have a look -

Secondly, a big thanks to the people who run and all those who visited the Dartmoor Folk Festival.  I very much enjoyed my visit at... Read more


I've been asked about some of the walks featured in the tvdetective books.

I suppose if I was a true modern writer, I'd now have to go into a long legal waffle about being in no way liable for any injury anyone whatsoever may sustain if taking on - entirely at their own risk, naturally - any of the treks I mention in the books, which is no way implies authorisation or promotion on the part of the author etc etc.

But as I can't abide all that stuff, I'll say this instead.  The walks are all described from personal... Read more


It's been pointed out to me that I have a tendency to put some odd acknowledgements in my books.

Looking back on the past novels, I must say guilty as charged, I fear!

To me, they're an important part of a book which are often overlooked.  Go on, ask yourself honestly - how often do you read acknowledgements, and indeed the dedication, if at all?

When I write a book, the idea might be mine, the characters, the plot too, but to actually make it work, I need an enormous amount of help.  Be it the usual experts of the... Read more