Crime writing workshop

Firstly, an apology for being out of touch awhile, but I had some family issues to deal with. 

Forgive me for not going into detail, but they're still raw.  I'll be marking what happened in the dedication of the new tvdetective book, The Balance of Guilt, which is due out in Sept, but for now I'd like to just try to get on with life.  I know you'll understand.

The main point of this post is that I wanted to mention the Crime Writing Workshop I'm doing as part of Oxfam's Bookfest.  It's in a couple of weeks time... Read more


Here's a good question which has arrived in the Hall inbox - how many words of a book do I write in a day?

Like so many questions, it's one which sounds simple, but in fact is far from it.

Firstly, I never set myself a target of the number of words to write.  I think that's a sure way to scare off any inspiration - it's far better just to try to let it flow, without any strictures.  Plus, a target also gives you an artificial definition of success or failure, which I think is unhelpful.  Surely it's better... Read more

Quite a week

Hello again, and firstly, a big thank you to the lovely folk of Exmouth for such a kind welcome and enjoyable event last night.

I was at the wonderful St John in the Wilderness Church, talking about the tvdetective books, and had a very fine time.  It's a beatiful building, set in magnificent grounds, and with a vibrant congregation - it was a pleasure to be there and help to keep the church in such great shape.

If ever you're passing, I'd thorougly recommend a visit.

Also!  I was faced with one of the more unusual questions ever asked... Read more

More talks

I've had a couple of emails asking me to expand on the notorious story of the otter.  I'd love to, but - it'd take up far too much space here, and it's spoil the element of surprise when I come to mention it in my talks.

So, sorry, but you'll have to catch one of my little ramblings some day.  Suffice to say, the tale of the otter is a testament to the ridiculous things that can happen to a person ill-advised enough to take up a career in the media, and particularly so in television!

A couple of other... Read more

The otter

National Crime Fiction week begins on Mon (14th June), with events across the country.

I'm doing a few, all in Devon, as it happens.  And please - nobody dare to suggest this is entirely deliberate so I can still be close to home to watch the World Cup!

All the events are at places I haven't yet visited, so I'm looking forward to meeting some new people.  I've just written the outline of one of the talks.  There are a few anecdotes I often tell, and I've been giving some a rest of late, so I don't get bored with... Read more

Here we go...

Firstly, a big thank you, to the kind people of Launceston, who made me so very welcome during my visit to give a talk at the inaugural Charles Causley festival. 

I had a great time.  I thought the festival very well organised and a brilliant idea - I wish you all success with it in future, you very much deserve it.

Secondly, a confession - on which subject, isn't it odd how this blog appears to have become my little equivalent of the confession booth?!

It's true, I'm a big football fan, and I'm now getting caught up in... Read more

A century

I'm told by those clever people who make my website work (I thought it was all magic, but apparently it's something called technology) that it's now a year since I began writing a blog, and this is my hundredth post.

Happy Anniversary to me!

A quick confession here - I took a fair bit of persuading to start blogging.  I wondered if I'd ever have anything much of interest to say, and then of course there's the fear of entering this rather scary modern world of the internet.  It felt like something young people do!

However, I'm glad I did.

... Read more

Writer's Block

Now, I'm told this is a common problem amongst writing people, and a dreaded one.  And I've been suffering it over the last few days.

It's a strange thing, because the work on the new book was going along swimmingly.  All was set fair and I was enjoying myself.  Then, I wake up one morning, to find I can hardly write a word.  And when I do, it's nonsense. 

It's frustrating, and the more annoyed you get, the harder it becomes to write anything at all. So, I've learned the lesson of walking away, however difficult it may be. ... Read more