I'm just over half way through a new tvdetective book, have been doing a little checking back on the previous novels, and have noticed something curious.

My chapters are getting shorter.

When first I was published, the chapters tended to be around three thousand words in length. Now they're about half that.

Which set me wondering - what's going on there?

I'm not sure is the honest answer. I suppose you'd expect a writing style to change and evolve.  It happens with everyone in the arty way - from musicians to painters, and all in between.

As to why, perhaps... Read more

The Puzzle of Children

I don't think I ever really got the hang of youngsters, particularly what entertains, interests and amuses them.  Which is quite a concern when you're soon due to be teaching a couple of groups of them about writing.

I've spent part of the weekend thinking / wondering / agonising about how to do it (most of the rest I've spent along with the others of the English nation, staring in awe at the fiery newcomer to the sky.  And about time, too.)

I've come up with a conclusion, which is that probably the best way to teach them is to... Read more

A little improvisation

It's one of life's underrated arts, a bit of improvisation.

It comes to mind now after last night's talk at the Chudleigh Literary Festival (my thanks to all who came along for laughing at the right points in the performance, and being so kind and welcoming.)

I enjoyed myself, and felt the talk went well (hope you did too, if you were there!), but it was particularly noteworthy for two of the oddest interruptions I've ever experienced.

The first was the arrival of a large dog, who came bounding in the entrance to the marquee, sniffed around at a... Read more

A self-challenge

I can't help but notice I do have this innate thing about always trying something new; innovating, and testing myself.

I sometimes think it's a curse.  It means I can never stand still, and any notion of a holiday which consists of just laying upon a beach is banished to the far reaches of fantasy.  But, on the whole, I'm glad of it. 

I think it makes life more interesting.  Indeed, what's this great game of existence for if not to explore as much of the thing as you can?

I raise the thought in this blog, because... Read more

History and hairlines

A "friend" (I use the term loosely) posted a picture of me on Facebook last week. Circa late 90's, it's of the squad of the football team I used to play for when I lived in Cornwall, Pelynt.

And it got me thinking of the past, as these things can often do.

It's a lingering regret that I didn't study history after the age of 16. I realise now how much I enjoyed it, and how much I would probably have got out of it.

I raise this now partly because there's a historical sequence in the new tvdetective book. ... Read more

An unexpected problem

In this strange game called life there is always a but, don't you find?

I'm a happy chap, because the contracts for the new tvdetective books have been signed and all is going ahead swimmingly.  The kind publishers want three, spread out over the next two years, which is all very flattering but of course brings a little problem - 

Writing the things!

However, that's not so bad. As regular sufferers of these rants will know, I write as a hobby. The fact that people actually read, and even enjoy my scrbblings, is a delightful side effect.

The ideas... Read more

Reading aloud

Not content with writing these strange tvdetective books, I'm now getting the chance to read them, and aloud, too.

BBC Radio Devon have kindly asked me to serialise the most recent in the series, The Balance of Guilt.  I've completed a sequence of five recordings of various sections of the book, each lasting around five minutes.

As you can imagine, this entailed some considerable agonising. I wanted to give a good sense of what the book is about, but without giving away all the plot and twists and turns, and certainly not the ending.

If you consider the book is... Read more