Imaginary friends

I've come to wonder whether the signs that I might make an effort at being some kind of an author were apparent when I was very young.

As a child, I had lots of imaginary friends.  And before the cynical raise a word - no, I don't think it was because I was too unpopular to make any real friends! I just liked inventing characters to accompany me through life.

So it goes on today with the tvdetective books.  I'm currently working on some ideas for characters (aside from the usual suspects) for a new novel.  This is another part... Read more


I'm in the plotting phase for a new tvdetective book, which those unfortunates who regularly read my ramblings will know is one of my favourite parts of the writing process.  It's a chance to thrown wild ideas around, think some pretty daft and outrageous things, so you can see why I'd like it.

However! This current plotting process had not been going smoothly.

Without lurching into too much detail, and potentially spoiling any future books for you, I had a thought for a central theme of the new book which I reckoned would make a good plot. I was working... Read more

Food and drink

Another good question has arrived in my inbox, and it asks this - how important are food and drink in the tvdetective books?

Yet again, it's got me thinking about how - subconsciously - significant parts of myself find their way into my writing.

On a basic level, I suppose the answer is that food and drink are important to all of us being that they help sustain us on the planet, and so both are present in the books to an extent.  But it's also obviously the case they mean more to some than others. 

For me,... Read more

Favouritism and questions

Thanks to the kind folk of Ashburton and Charmouth who came along to see my talks at their library and literary festival respectively.  Thanks also for some very good questions.

From my experience of other authors, I've noticed a stark divide in their view of questions.  Some love that part of a talk, others hate it.  I suspect that's because most of a session can be controlled, with the author talking about their work, inspirations, reading from their books, all the usual kind of thing, and some writers like it that way. It's only when the questions arrive that things... Read more

The table turned

It's a strange experience being interviewed - after all, given my job, I'm used to being the one who asks the questions!

I was musing on how it felt after a couple of media interviews in the last week, for the Western Morning News and Radio Devon.  And it strikes me it's not so easy as you may think, fielding questions.  You reckon you've got the answers prepared for all that you're going to be challenged with and then up comes something you weren't expecting.

The point I'm thinking of particularly was a question about the dedication and acknowledgements... Read more

Events nerves

A question arrives. Do I get nervous at book events? I'm asked. 

It's a good question, particularly when my correspondent thoughtfully argues that surely I don't, given that I often appear live on the television with hundreds of thousands of people watching, as opposed to a few dozen at an event.

Fair point, but as so often when logic comes up against emotion, the emotion wins easily. I get very nervous, and for two reasons I think.

The first is that being a reporter, you have to be dispassionate, neutral, detached from what you're covering, however hard that might... Read more

Lots of nerves and even more thanks

Firstly, a big thank you to the lovely readers and even lovelier librarians of Torpoint and Looe in Cornwall, for looking after me when I visited to talk about the tvdetective books.

As you now know, you were amongst the first victims of my little ramblings about The Balance of Guilt, and I was delighted - and more than a little relieved - at your reactions to the new book.

It is an odd experience this writing lark, when you shut yourself away for weeks, trying to finish a book.  And even when it's done, then rewritten, edited and published,... Read more

Something new

I have had a new experience. Stop sniggering, before you even think it, it's nothing of a naughty nature.

It's this - I have been the subject of my first podcast.  Now, those of you who are regular readers of the tvdetective blog will know I'm no great adopter of new technology. It took long enough to persuade the Luddite Hall to write a blog, after all.  So a podcast?  Wow! That's so futuristic it's akin to one of those Star Trek transporter things to this writer. However, being the intrepid, boldly going chap I am (well, almost), I gave... Read more