Resolutions by proxy

To make a list of New Year's resolutions feels far too conventional to me, not to mention an inevitable trap of sadness and self-recrimination when they do the inevitable tailspin from the blue skies of hope, so...

I thought I'd deal with a few potential resolutions that people might wish I would make, based on my experiences over the past year.  Standby... it's resolutions (or not) by proxy time, and who knows - some of your favourites may be in here... 

1. Explain your more bizarre tweets.  I don't want to start negatively, but you leave me with no... Read more

Lightbulbs of the mind

I used to love the way comic book artists indicated a character had been struck by an idea - that little light bulb which would appear over their head.  It's returned of late as a childhood memory and has been lingering and making me chuckle.

I mention it now, because I've been hunting some ideas over the last few days.  Elusive little beasts they can be, hiding in the darkened corners of the brain and often annoyingly reluctant to reveal themselves, but I think I've managed to track a few down.

One of the (very few, you'll doubtless agree?!)... Read more

Festive and unfestive thoughts

I've never set a tvdetective book at Xmas.  It just wouldn't feel right, all that killing and criming at such a festive time of year.  But that does mean that my dear and beloved friends haven't lived the special time of year properly, and they're nagging me as they often do, so here we go with a resume...

Adam is the easiest to deal with - in an Xmas sense, anyhow - so I'll start with him. As befits a family man and traditionalist, he loves Xmas.  All the presents are beautifully wrapped, the Breen household looking well-decorated, and he's... Read more


I've never claimed to be a high brow writer, quite the reverse in fact. My literary brows are so low it's sometimes remarkable I can see where I'm going.

But prepare yourself for a foray never before attempted in these blogs. We're going to try a little trespass into the daunting land of international politics.

Before you stop reading, just hang on and give me a chance. You should know by now this isn't likely to be in any way intellectual or impenetrable.  What I'm talking about here is the issue of nicknames.

How's that connected to politics? Well, stay... Read more

Dramatic news

I haven't waffled on the matter of "the play wot I wrote" for a while, so I thought you'd doubtless be captivated - nay excited beyond the ability of your constituent atoms to hold your existence together - to find out more.

Well, whatever, I'm going to tell you anyway.

Here's the hard news bit; me in journalist mode (it does happen sometimes, though sadly perhaps not enough during the working week.)

It's all going ahead. The play in question - An Unnecessary Murder - will open on Weds, April 25th, 2012 at the Barnfield Theatre, Exeter.  The run will... Read more


It's only a small word, belief, but so very powerful.

Regular sufferers of my rantings will know that I teach media and careers at Exeter University (lucky students, I hear you say), and that I find it one of the most rewarding features of my humble existence.

The pinnacle on that particular peak is when a student gets their first job.  Well, that's just happened with one of mine from last year, and in time for Xmas too.  Lovely!

Another thing I do (or perhaps try to would be more accurate) is the teaching of the creative writing thing.  And... Read more

A hesitant traveller

A couple of folk have remarked that, in the tvdetective books, Dan can be a chap of limited horizons. That is, he doesn't travel much outside of Devon.

And then the question then follows - all too naturally it seems! - whether I have a similar outlook?

The answer is yes.  Now, i don't want to sound like a Little Englander, but to adapt an old newspaper slogan, the way I feel about the south west of England is - all life is here.  Or, at least, mostly all I want from life.

I'm very proud of living here, and... Read more

A Virtual Conversion

It took quite a while, but I have become an internet convert. 

The thing was only really getting going in Britain when I started writing, and I remember thinking "I'll get round to that sometime, it's just some minor oddball thing, hardly a priority" when someone suggested I bag thetvdetective domain name and get myself a website.  I'm now very glad I listened.

For a scribbler, perhaps more than for most folk, the online thing is so important. Every week I get inquiries about doing talks, or festivals, or teaching work through the site.  And also comments from readers... Read more