The process of becoming real

Ooohh!  Excitement!

At least, I think so.  But then, I find curious things exciting - I got oddly into watching a cormorant fishing on the River Exe on Friday, wondering if it was going to catch some lunch.

Before you start to worry, the purpose of this blog, however, is not about bird-watching.  It's all about the new tvdetective book.

Hence the ooohh!

It's finally started to become real for me, the fact that it's going to be published. I was having discussions with the publishers on Friday, and it's scheduled to come out in April or May... Read more

The strange workings of mind and body

I've been feeling unwell of late, which is annoying (there's no time for that nonsense!), but has given me cause to reflect on the relationship between mind and body.

It's one of those agues which have made me sweat and shiver and feel like I've been beaten up all over - twice.  But the curious thing is that it hasn't affected my brain.

Or, at least, I don't think it has - it might have done so to the extent that I'm delirious, but haven't noticed.  You'll have to be the judge of that.

And then, of course, comes... Read more

The Voice

I've been fortunate enough to be the guest at a couple of writing events in the last few days, and a question which came up at both - as it does at many - was about the author's voice.

How do you find your authentic style, the one that people grow to like and even treasure, and which - so very importantly - distinguishes you from other writers?

Like so many things, the answer is something which sounds simple, but in fact is not.  Oh, far from it!

It can take a long time to find your voice, and I... Read more

Dangerous multi-tasking

I am attempting a feat most hazardous for a mere mortal male - the perilous art of multi-tasking.

Over the months and years of giving talks about the tvdetective books, I have come to find a kind of formula for how I structure the sessions and what I say.

I use the words "kind of" advisedly, because it's a point of professionalism and pride that I tailor each for the individual audience and what I think they want to hear.  And they all react differently - sometimes most unexpectedly so - which often prompts some very hasty rethinking!

But,... Read more


I've been thinking about nothing. 

All right, that may not come as any surprise to you, but it's not quite true anyway.  What I've been thinking about are spaces.

It was in my mind on my way back from a talk about the tvdetective books I gave in Plymouth on Wednesday night.  As ever, I tried to weave in some humour, and the kind folk of the audience were good enough to laugh in the places I hoped.

I also mentioned a couple of the more poignant experiences from my life, and how they translate into my writing. ... Read more

An uplifting first

I was privileged to experience a first at my Crime Writing teaching day in Barnstaple on Saturday, and a most uplifting one at that.

A member of the group was a young person, and by that I mean very young - 14 years old, in fact. 

In the days before the session, I got a call from one of the librarians asking if it would be all right if she came along. Given the potentially adult nature of the crime theme, it was understandable her parents were concerned.  

As I don't tend to do the really nasty crime... Read more

Travelling afar

A couple of people have already said that they think I should set a tvdetective book outside of Devon.

How remarkably radical!  Why would anyone ever want to leave this heavenly county, I wondered? Surely, as the old saying goes, all life is here?

But then again....

I've just got back from a trip to Strasbourg, to the European Court of Human Rights.  That's a reporting trip, I should add, not appearing in any way - and certainly not as a defendant!

It was a fascinating time, which did give me pause for thought as to whether I should... Read more


A funny thing happened to me on the way home... (I was in the fair isle of Guernsey, doing some BBC work) which has led to this blog.

A kind lady from the hotel was driving me to the airport, and we were talking about writing. She said - as folk often do - that she'd like to try writing a book.  But then followed it up with a statement I found rather breathtaking and saddening - that there was no point, as everything had been written and there was nothing new to do.

In a word - no!  Or,... Read more