Now here's an exciting opportunity - for me, at least.

I've been asked to write a stage play based on one of the tvdetective books.  This has filled me with both eager anticipation and more than a measure of concern.

First (being one of life's pessimists), the worries. All that I know about writing plays you could compare with the average humility of a premier league footballer.  Ok, I've read some plays, I've been to see them at the theatre, but that's just enjoyment, nothing to do with thinking about how they work and all the effort that goes into... Read more

Dinner time..

Another of the fine questions that often arrive via the website has descended into my inbox, as it were.

It's this - am I a big food fan, or as reflected in the character of Dan in the tvdetective books, rather less than a culinary star?  Poor Dan, he does get some flack - rarely if ever attempts to cook anything fresh, and very seldom takes himself out for a decent meal, let alone the long-suffering Sergeant Claire.

Well, as for me, I suppose the answer to the enquiry comes in two halves.  Firstly, yes I am a food fan. ... Read more

The strange world of my dreams

Yesterday (when all my troubles seemed so far away etc.), I was doing some editing of the new tvdetective book, and working in particular on a dream sequence.

I don't put many of these in the series, just the odd specimen, and usually to illustrate some kind of anxiety or fear.  I don't know if that's because I think they can be overdone in books, or whether there's something deeper going on.  I am a vivid dreamer, and sometimes the visitations of the night can stay with me for days or even weeks.  I wonder if that means I'm a... Read more

Little things..

Sunday morning, reflective time, and I'm in a thinking way - not actually writing today, but working through some ideas for a new book, a couple of events, and also the week's teaching I'm doing at Swanwick in August.

I was musing on what I actually achieve when I write a book and see it published. There are lots of answers to that; the self satisfaction, the entertaintment I (hopefully) provide for a few folk, even some extra pocket money if you want to be very basic, but the question was nagging - is there anything more significant to it?

... Read more

Not such adventurous holidays

Another fine and perceptive question has arrived in my inbox (I did promise I'd get round to answering some of these eventually!)

It's this - what do I tend to do for my holidays? 

The question is broader, and indeed more cunning, than it first appears.  My correspondent wants to know if I favour the same kind of things as Dan in the tvdetective books, and further, if he can then deduce an element of how autobiographical they are.

Regular readers of these blogs will know the time honoured Hall answer to that question, and here it comes again.... Read more

Conference report

One of the greatest joys of this "becoming some kind of a writer" thing has been the new places it's taken me and the people it's introduced me to.

One such was at the weekend, when I was privileged to address the Southern Writers' Conference in Sussex. 

Now, regular readers of my wafflings will already know the high state of angst that Hall manages to work up in himself when doing talks about the tvdetective books.  I won't bore you with another run down of that, but it was as enthusiastically present as ever.

It is a curious... Read more

Mannerisms and catchphrases

I'm a real sucker for mannerisms and catchphrases, because just about everyone has them and they can be so revealing - a great attribute to give to characters to help make them real. 

Here's a little example from my recent trip to Bournemouth.  I was having breakfast in a hotel and the butter was all runny.  I asked for some more, and the waitress promised to get some, saying "there's nothing worse than runny butter."

Well, thought I, you could contend there may be one or two things worse - coming home to find your house on fire and... Read more

Notes from the chair

So them, this chairing a Reader's Day for the first time...

Well, firstly it's plenty of work!  I felt like a father / shepherd / performer all at once, and that's a fair bit for my little brain to cope with.  There's the research on the seven other authors, gathering up the audience, keeping things to time, making sure the writers are happy, everyone can hear/see/knows what's going on next, thinking of decent questions to ask, and lots lots more besides...

However, given all that, I think from the feedback it went well, which is a mighty relief!  We were... Read more


...something many of us dread and do our best to avoid, particularly us boys - and surely second only in the male annals of horror to that all time fear called commitment - but responsibility has nonetheless come calling upon me.

On Saturday, I am chairing a Crime Readers Day at Bournemouth Library.  In the spirit of these blogs, which often turn more into confessionals, I can now admit it's the first time I've undertaken such a role and I'm feeling more than a tad nervous. To put it mildly!

It's difficult enough talking about my own books, which (in... Read more