Loving where we live

Given the wonderful weather of late, I thought I'd share a few Hall thoughts about the delights of living in Devon and Cornwall.

For me, one of the kindest things people have said about the tvdetective series is that my love of the south west comes through loud and clear. Whether its the walks Dan and Rutherford take around Dartmoor, or on the coast, I often find myself getting a little lost in enjoying the moment (albeit in words) and have to calm and curtail myself from going on too much.

In fact, on reflection, it's quite true that writing... Read more

A wobble

I knew it would come, and thus it has.  Following the completion of the new book - or the first draft of it, anyway - I've started feeling a little low.

Part of what bothers me is that it's such an illogical reaction. I know I should be feeling proud, even jubilant at managing to knock together a hundred thousand words plus, in some form of order that might just make a passable novel.  But, as discussed in previous blogs, it's simply that the book becomes such a big part of my life that when it's gone, even temporarily, I... Read more


A fine question has arrived, and it's this - why am I so very fond of Rutherford?

Firstly, I'm glad my correspondent noticed.  I am indeed hugely fond of Rutherford, and for a couple of reasons which I shall now plunge into.

The most obvious is that in the tvdetective books he's a very important character.  Dan is a bit of a loner, so he needs someone to talk to about the cases he's working on. Rutherford plays that part beautifully.

There's another motive in that he helps get Dan out into the wonderful Devon countryside when the pair... Read more

The end...

I have, this very morning, with due fanfare and fly by of the Red Arrows etc., completed the first draft of the new tvdetective book.

The sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed I haven't mentioned a title - there is a working version, but I'm not sure it's going to be the final one yet, so shhhh for now is the way.  And no more detail about what's in it either, I'm trying to be suitably author like and mysterious!

Now, as I was saying, the final full stop on the page leaves me feeling elated in one way,... Read more


After a flurry of writing this morning, I've now reached the final chapter of the new book.

You may well think this should be a cause of me feeling pleased with myself. And I am, a little, but there's more of a sense of trepidation.

Allow me to explain.  When I write a book, it's such a huge process that it becomes a part of my life. There's the planning stage, which takes months, and effectively involves me falling in love with the idea as I develop it and grow fonder and fonder of it.

Then there's the actual writing,... Read more

A little self examination

A very fine question was posed of me yesterday at the Sleuths Crime Writing Festival, and as so often it was a short and simple one -

Why did I start writing?

It's something I haven't properly answered before, and prompted a little of that uncomfortable shining of the light within to see what murkiness might be found. 

After some such, here comes the best I can manage as an answer.

Top of the list, as so often in matters concerning Hall I fear, must be vanity. I just thought I could do it so I had a... Read more

Sunshine and inspiration

A beautiful morning has dawned here in Exeter, which leaves me reflecting on how much easier it can be to write when the weather is kind.

The inspiration for a book, character, storyline, or just some little quirk in a novel can strike me anytime, which is why I always carry a notebook, or at least a piece of paper and a pen.  But there are also certain ways of helping to promote some thinking.

One of my favourites is a walk around the river. I'm lucky in living close to the Exe, and it's a perpetual theatre. There are... Read more


A week today I'll be in Paignton, as a guest of the excellent Sleuths Crime Writing Festival.

I'm doing two events, a crime writing workshop in Paignton Library and a talk about the tvdetective books at the Another Chapter bookshop in Brixham.  This Saturday morning finds me working out what to say at both, and happily making a little progress.

The talk is fairly straightforward, just the usual list of strange Hall thoughts and bizarre anecdotes, which many of you have been generous enough to say you find passably interesting or even amusing.

The workshop is rather more tricky.  Firstly,... Read more