The way it ends...

A question I'm persistently asked - and have been so again this week - is do I know how the tvdetective series will end?

The answer is yes, and as it's the Saturday of a long weekend, and you've caught me at an upbeat moment, I can even give you a few little clues as to the outcomes. 

Firstly - and this is the most commonly posed question of all - yes, the Dan / Claire situation will be resolved.  But I'm not saying any more about that!  You'll just have to wait and see.

A little aside here... Read more

My fickle mistress

A little musing upon the muse...

She's been remarkably fickle of late, and I'm not quite sure why this is.

When I came back from the fine times of the Writers Hols in Swanwick, she was resolutely missing and not a clue where she might have gone.  This was quite a concern, until I came to think it was a mixture of tiredness - and boy, I was tired - and post hols comedown.

So I waited, got some rest, and bingo!  Back she came, bursting into my life, as only she can do.

I'm talking here in the... Read more

A hard landing

Here's a peculiar happening - a Saturday morning that feels rather like a Monday.

I suspect it's the old return home after being on hols (kind of!) thing, a sort of bumpy landing on the airstrip of normality.  As mentioned in my previous blog, I had an amazing time in Swanwick at the Writers' Summer School, but as ever with something so exhilarating it all ends far too soon.

A quick and traditional Hall aside here - why must it be the way in life that the dull bits drag on and the fun bits fly?  "Dear whatever powers that... Read more

Bitter-sweet moments

I've just finished my last lecture of the Swanwick Writers' Summer School, and am left amidst a mix of emotions.

Firstly, there's a great and warming pleasure in that - from my perspective at least! - it's gone well and the kind folk who came along to the talks appear to have got a fair bit from them.

I think I can now reveal that a sizeable mass of work went into the lectures. In fact, the planning started just after Xmas.  I was keenly aware it was the first extended session of teaching I'd ever done, and quite something... Read more

A writing "holiday"

By my reckoning, that's half way through my Writers' Holiday at Swanwick, so I thought it was time to put fingers to keyboard to let you, my poor, long-suffering reader, know how it was going.

Great is the simple answer!

The easy bit first, the teaching.  Regular sufferers of this blog will be familiar with my agonising about teaching - the old "who am I to do it, how do I even know what to do?" thing.  Well, the kind folk here have eased those concerns beautifully.  I'm blessed with a great group of aspiring crime writers, very talented too,... Read more


I'm good at doubts.  Lots of things in life I never really got the hang of - relationships, reverse parking, fashion sense, throwing the javelin, baking cakes, multiplying matrices, and many, many others - but doubts were never a problem.

Self doubts are a particular strength. And so I write to you today surrounded by a whole host of the carping crowd.

It's back to teaching again. Tomorrow, I embark upon the longest spell of the teaching of writing that I've ever attempted - almost a whole week, no less.  I've worked hard at the plans and ideas, the exercises... Read more

Another journey

One thing I've said time and again in these blogs is how much you discover about yourself when you start writing.

For me, a key revelations is the trait that I have to continually challenge myself.  When I first thought about writing, the question was whether I had the discipline and ability to write a book? 

When I managed that, it was whether I could get the thing into a passable enough shape to be published.  And after reaching that rather surprising/alarming landmark, it was onto the nerve wracking business of going out and talking about the thing at... Read more

Sad songs

You kind folk who take time to be interested in my humble scribblings are certainly into your music.

It doesn't feel so long ago that I wrote in a blog of why I don't - unlike quite a few other authors - quote or mention songs in the tvdetective books (to recap - because I think it can be exclusive to those who don't know the works in question was the reason).

Well, another musically themed question has arrived, asking what my favourite sad songs are?  And as I'm in a kind of appropriate mood to answer it, here... Read more