A Whirlwind of Wonderful Intensity

It's taking quite some time to return to anywhere approaching earth after the Winchester Writers' Conference. 

What a weekend! From my first meetings with the other writers, I got the sense it was going to be special. And how.

Firstly, on the Thursday night, I met Dave Evans, a very fine author who was on my crime writing course last year.  And then he announced he's been shortlisted for the hugely prestigious Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger award.

I take none of the credit - it's down to his talent alone.  But what a start to the weekend.

Then there... Read more


I'm rehearsing my teaching for the Winchester Writers' Conference this coming weekend, and thinking back to my visit last year.

It's remarkable how much of what I plan to say has changed in only a year. Perhaps that says something about how much you learn as you write - which is one of the joys of the job.

To start with, there are now six section headings to my day of teaching - all beginning with a letter P - compared to four last year.  That's a 50% bonus, according to my limited maths.

(And no, I won't be revealing... Read more

The Other Side of a Signing

I've been asked to do a book signing on Saturday (15th June) to mark the refurbishment of the Waterstone's in Newton Abbot. 

I haven't done one for a while and always enjoy them, so am looking forward to it.

What I particularly like about signings is the market research I get to carry out.

One of the great things about this writing lark is that it's very much a two way street, even if that isn't always obvious.  Readers think they gain from me - entertainment etc. from reading one of my books (hopefully, anyway!) But I also get a... Read more

Shadows, substance and a surprise

I'm often asked about the differences and similarities regarding my day job of reporting and my writing.

I used to think the answers were straightforward - they're similar in that both are about storytelling, but different in that one is fact and the other fiction, and in format - two minute reports of maybe 150 words, as opposed to books which contain an average of a hundred thousand words.

But a more subtle realisation has come upon me.

It's this - one is about being blunt, straightforward, overt, making sure there can be as little scope for misunderstanding as possible. 

... Read more