A Writing Holiday

I'm just back from the Writers' Holiday at Caerleon in Wales, and I had a great time.

I was told to expect one of the friendliest events I'd ever known, and such it very much was. Everyone made me feel incredibly welcome. I'd like to say a big thank you to the organisers, Gerry and Annie, and also to all who came along - in particular for laughing at all the right places in my talk!

It was a superb event, a wonderful setting, warming people, and we even managed to learn a thing or two - myself included. ... Read more

Travelling abroad...

Well, only in the most modest of ways, admittedly - I'm off to Wales.

I'm giving a talk at the Writers' Holiday, a fine programme of events designed to help people who want to become authors.  It's at Caerleon near Cardiff, and if you're interested, there are more details on the News and Events page -

The event has a great reputation as hugely helpful for aspiring writers, and as a good fun time too, so I'm looking forward to my visit. 

There'll also be a little mistiness of nostalgia, I suspect.  I took my journalism diploma... Read more

That DJ thing

You know sometimes how you can wish you hadn't said or mentioned something?!

I've noticed it's happened to me more than a little in my life.  But on this occasion I'm talking about my last post and the news that I was once a DJ.

I don't want to go into it, said I, or at least not here.  And now, naturally, It's prompted a few questions. So, aAs I promised to answer any that are rasied, here we go -

Ever since I was a kid, I've loved music.  As soon as I could, I got a paper round... Read more


Now, this is a good question -

Why don't I put references to music in my books, I'm asked?  Many authors often quote, or cite songs, to complement scenes.  Why not in the tvdetective series?

It's not because I don't like music. I love it.  In fact, music is how I got into the media and so eventually began writing - I used to be a DJ - but that's a tale too far for this post and a blog for another day!

So, back to the question, before I go off on another Hall meander. Well, I don't put... Read more

Writing Workshop

Thanks to all those who came along to the Crime Writing Workshop last night.  I had a great time, and more importantly, I'm glad you did.  We can also be proud in raising some money for Oxfam and their work to alleviate poverty across the world, a very fine cause.

I can now reveal I was rather nervous about the whole event.  Firstly, I've done little in the way of trying to give people tips on how to write a book before, so it was a new experience for me.  Secondly, there's always that lingering question - who am I... Read more

The Balance of Guilt

A much awaited - and also rather dreaded - email has arrived from my publishers.

In it come the suggested edits for the new tvdetective book, The Balance of Guilt. 

The reason I always worry about this is the continual fear that I've overlooked some detail which would render the entire plot impossible.  That would mean, at best, a very large amount of rewriting work, and at worst, perhaps even having to start again, almost from scratch.

I'll give you an example of one little such error in a while, but first the main point of this post.

... Read more

The weather

I always thought I wasn't a sufferer from the English obsession with the prevailing climatic conditions, but writing these strange book things as I do, I've had to come to reappraise my view.

I've noticed that in almost every one of my scenes, there's some reference to the weather.  And without any conscious effort on my part, the conditions that I rope into my imaginary wanderings seem to complement the occasion. 

In the dramatic scenes, the weather tends to be either wet, or close and dense.  Come the (admittedly rather rarer) jolly interludes, I can usually be relied upon... Read more

Plots and Morris Dancing

I'm often asked where my plots come from.

The answer can be just about anywhere.  I sometimes read a story in the paper, or hear one on the radio, that sets my mind off into a little flurry of thought.  Or I can just imagine one quirk, or theme around which a whole plot can be based - The Death Pictures was like that, the concept of the whole book coming from an idea for one central riddle.

Often I can find the beginnings of a plot in something I see.  Such it was at the weekend, and is the... Read more

Troublesome chapters

I've been reviewing the new tvdetective book, The Balance of Guilt, which is due out in Sept.

The good news is that - in my humble view, at least - it seems to hang together pretty well and make for a decent story.  I even got quite excited towards the end to find out what would happen - strange perhaps, when you consider I wrote the thing!

The odder news is that I appear to be struggling with my chapter structure.  I've noticed some of them can go on for scores of pages. So, some work to divide them up... Read more