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Easter time

Having just about adjusted to the clocks going forwards (whole stole that hour of my life?!), I'm now looking forward to the long easter weekend.

It's going to be a working one, but enjoyably so, or at least that's what I hope.  I'm happy to report the first stirrings of an idea for a new book are agitating in my mind.  I won't go into too much detail, as sometimes - often even! - these thoughts of mine come to nowt, but I'm feeling confident there's enough to make a decent novel.

A couple of quick details - it'll be another in the tvdetective series, to follow sequentially from The Balance of Guilt in the characters lives.  And I'm thinking the central theme will be a kidnapping. 

As you may know, I try to do something different in each book, and we haven't had any abductions yet, so perhaps it's about time.  I'm just working on the structure, twists and turns, new characters needed, and will keep you up to date with how it goes. Assuming it does!

That's the thing about this publishing lark - it works to such long time scales, compared with my day job.  If this book does come to be the next one, it's being prepared 18 months ahead!  And usually, I struggle to plan more than a few days ahead.

One final quick word - thanks to all the people who came along to the signing in Waterstone's in Newton Abbot on Sat.  It was good to meet you, and I hope you enjoy the books you kindly bought.

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Newton Abbot

A note about the weekend, and a signing.

I'm at the Waterstone's in Newton Abbot on Saturday (27th March), from 12.30 for a couple of hours, to sign copies of the tvdetective series.  They'll have the full range of books, from The TV Detective to The Death Pictures, Evil Valley and The Judgement Book. 

I've also got some bookmarks to give away.

There are more details on the events page -

Do come along, have a chat, and pick up a copy of one of the books - or preferably all!

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A quick reminder for you - if you've got a question about the tvdetective series, feel free to raise it and I'll do my best to answer.  You can get in touch via the contacts page -

One such has just come in.  It's - where do I get my characters from, and are any based on real people?

It says in my book of how to be an author that mystery sells, so I shouldn't give too much away.  But I can tell you that only one character in the series is based entirely on a single "person" - and you'll see why the use of quotes there in a minute.

Most characters are what I think of as composites, built up from several different quirks of a range of people's mannerisms, behaviour, or appearance.  So yes, I do borrow a little from real life, but only usually a tad per person, and always combined with plenty of imagination.

But - back to that real "person".  Here, I'm talking about Rutherford.  He's based on the dog I grew up with, a wonderfully protective and loyal Alsatian called Sam.  He was my companion through the early years of childhood, and to this day I remember the weeks of tears I shed when he died.

Rutherford is my way of bringing him back, as best I can. 

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The Balance of Guilt and other bits

A few bits of news to pass on.

Firstly, The Balance of Guilt is now complete in its draft form and has gone to the publishers for their comments.  This is always a nervy moment, as I await their views.  I like it, but then, I would, wouldn't I?!  It's still due for publication in September and there's already talk of some events to mark its arrival.  I'll keep you posted.

Regular readers will know that this author isn't the best when it comes to new technology, but I must tell you about this, as it's a first.  I am now available as an "app" for the iphone.  The first couple of chapters of The TV Detective, along with an interview with yours truly, is on line as a free taster.  If you want to try it, go to

I must also mention - a big thank you to the kind people of Yeovil who came along to my Crime Cafe talk last night.  You made me feel very welcome and I had a fine evening. 

Finally, a word about a book signing in Newton Abbot next weekend (Sat 27th March).  For more details, have a look at the news and events page -

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A big thank you to everyone who came along to the opening of the new Hospiscare shop in Exeter yesterday.

It was a pleasure to be asked to open it.  As I mentioned in my little speech, I've lost two close family members in the last few years, both of whom were wonderfully cared for by the hospice in their final days.  I feel I owe quite a debt, so for me, yesterday was at least a small way of repaying some of that.

I wish the shop all the best, and Hospiscare another 30 years and much more of great work in the community. 

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The TV Detective

Thank you to all who have got in touch with their appreciations for The TV Detective. 

I was a little nervous about the book - more so even than usual! - it being a retrospective, but you seem to have enjoyed the story of how the boys met, which I'm delighted to hear.

I've been asked to narrate an audio version too, which I'm about to start work on.  I do enjoy doing the recordings, but it is remarkably tiring.  You wouldn't think just reading aloud could require so much concentration and effort.  And I still make plenty of fluffs, which happily in these days of digital editing the engineers can take straight out.

Not quite sure when it'll be released, it depends on how the readings go, but I'll let you know.  And if you are interested in audio books, I'm told the versions of Death Pictures, Evil Valley and The Judgement Book are all coming along nicely and should also be available soon. When they are, I'll put the details on the news page -

And amidst all that, the first draft of The Balance of Guilt is almost complete, so the book looks on course for publication in September - hopefully!

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Life's suddenly got rather busy on the events front.

I've mentioned this before, but I think it's worth saying again, as it's such a welcome feeling.  It's a definite sign that spring is here, the world awakening as people actually start to make plans to venture out from the warm safety of their houses of an evening again.

So then, before I started waxing on, those dates.  Next week, on Tues (March 16th) at 10am, I'm opening the new Hospiscare shop on South Street in Exeter.  It's a wonderful cause, which I'm delighted to support.

The following Thursday (March 18th), in the evening at the Octagon in Yeovil, I'm at the Crime Cafe, talking about the tvdetective books.  

And some more advance notice for you - at 6.45 on the evening of Tues, April 20th, I'm at the Eype Literary Festival in my old stomping ground of Dorset.  It's a new festival, which I'm proud to be invited to.

I'll put all the details on the News and Events page -

Hope to see you at some, any or all of the events, you'd be very welcome

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Free book

Some fun, and money saving news -

To celebrate two years of the my tvdetective books, my kind publishers have decided to make the first one, The TV Detective, available free as an ebook. 

It's a limited offer, so if you want a copy, grab one now.  Just go to the Accent Press website -  and click on the banner a little way down from the top.  There are no strings to this, it's the whole book, absolutely free.

Just as a small quid pro quo, if you do have a read, please feel free to get in touch with me to tell me what you think.  You can do so via the contact page of my site -

Feel free to pass the news onto friends and family, so they can download a copy too. 

Happy reading, and hope you enjoy it.

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As regular readers will know, rarely do I get too personal in a blog.

On this occasion however, please excuse me.  I've just been ill for four days and...

I hate being ill!  I loathe and detest and abhor and dislike and can't bear or abide or in any way whatsoever tolerate or even manage to be relatively calm and accepting of being ill.

It's such a foul feeling, each passing moment being unpleasant.  It's scarcely what life's for, in my view.

And it's such a waste of valuable, precious time, when all you can do is lie on your back and groan.  I tried thinking of ideas for new plots to distract myself, but my poor mind wasn't even up to that.

And I suppose, in the scheme of things, I only had a relatively mild illness too - tum problems with accompanying fever. 

So, as you can see, I don't care for being ill.  Please excuse the rant, but it felt cathartic!  And sorry for being out of touch for a few days, but now you know why.

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