Sometimes the most obvious questions - the first principles type - can get overlooked, and this little rambling is an attempt to address one such omission.

I was privileged to be invited to the launch of a new Writers' Group this week, and one of the issues they wanted me to address was the very straightforward - why do I write?

Like many great questions, it's one of those which sounds simple but very much isn't.  It took a fair bit of thought to answer, but this is my approximate response.

Firstly, I suppose I find it a curious... Read more

Modern life

I suppose I could easily start and end this blog with the reflection that modern life is something I've not quite got the hang of, struggle though I may.

However, being me, I can surely squeeze out a few more thoughts to a doubtless delighted and entranced world. Well, maybe!

Anyhow, this blog was prompted by a clever article I read yesterday concerning Facebook.  It claimed, and with impressive accuracy, that you could roughly tell a person's age by the number of friends he or she had.

Younger folk might have thousands, but for those of us in the... Read more

Trains and boats and planes

On a slow (brainspeed) Sunday morning, it can be easier to steal someone else's idea for a title...

But the point of this little ramble was a rumination on transport and what the various modes do to the mind. Or my mind, at least.

I had the pleasure of visiting Teignmouth yesterday, and partook of the wonderful rail journey along the coast - the one where it feels as if you're right on the beach, then cutting through the cliffs of red Devon rock.  It's a stunning trip.

As regular sufferers of my meanderings will know, I always carry a... Read more

A time for rhyme

A question has arrived, rather tangential to the writing thing, but I'm going to answer it anyway because it's a subject of which I'm fond.

It's this - do I like poetry, and if so, what?

The answer to part one of the question is yes, and that's probably a good job or this would be one of the shortest blogs I've ever penned.

The answer to part two is a range, but I tend to favour older poetry.  This is going to sound hideously old fashioned, embarrassingly so even, but I like works that are full of rhythm and... Read more

A little on libraries..

These days I've relegated my soap box to a dusty and little used corner of the mind, surrounded by fencing, Keep Out signs, and a few mental landmines. 

It may come as a surprise to regular readers of these meanderings, but I do have some self-awareness and know how easily I can launch into a diatribe or eulogy, or just any kind of wordy careering downhill slalom.

However! I do have a little something to say on the subject of libraries - if you'll indulge me - but will keep it brief (as much as ever I do.)

Libraries,... Read more

Events and nerves

The season of events is upon us, and I'm very glad to welcome it along. 

I love doing talks about the tvdetective books, for a couple of main reasons. It gives me a great opportunity to visit new places, but it's a particular pleasure for getting to meet readers. They're so very kind and complimentary about my scribblings, which is highly reassuring because many are the days I doubt whether my work is worth troubling the world of publishing.

They also help me learn, by telling me what they like and don't like in books, and I'm grateful for... Read more

Space to think

There appears to be some strange interest in where I write the tvdetective books - I've been asked a few times now if I have a study, and if so what it's like.

Go on then, as it's you, I'll talk...

I do have a study, albeit a rather ramshackle version. Regular readers of these ramblings will know I'm not into formality and ceremony, and thus it is with my little thinking and working space.

It's in the attic of the house, with a lovely skylight that provides a fine view over the Exeter cityscape.  There's a little square wooden... Read more


A question has arrived; a simple one, but smart nonetheless. It's this - what is my favourite colour?

I immediately suspect my correspondent has had the dubious pleasure of witnessing my performances on the television.  In which case, they'll quite possibly already think they know, but hey, the answer's rarely so simple (at least not with a Hall ramble), so here we go with an attempted response.

Firstly , I like combinations of colour.  In my humble view, when dressed for work, a woman has many options for expressing personality, or moods which are permissible.  There's the obvious skirt versus... Read more