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Customer Care

I enjoyed an entertaining surprise last week, which reminded me of an excellent lesson for authors. 

I was walking through my home town of Exeter, in the usual daytime daze, when a lady came running up shouting my name. 

It turned out to be the owner of my favourite shop, a vintage clothing emporium. A couple of years ago, I'd told her I was on the lookout for a flying jacket, but couldn't find one anywhere.

She promised to let me know if one came in, and I thought no more about it until... 

I was grabbed and beckoned into her shop, with the following result - 


Now that's what I call customer care - and it's a fine example of the way authors should, in my humble view, approach events.

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Pointless Planning

I really should have learnt by now, it's such an old and obvious lesson, but sometimes I still forget. 

Planning can be pointless. 

I'd don't mean in general. In most areas of writing, planning is vital. I would never go into a teaching session, or book talk, or start writing a novel without planning. 

But there are some areas where it's redundant. As I was forced to remember (painfully) this week. 

I had an important section of my new book to write, and much of it was based around dialogue. So, the night before, I duly sketched out what the characters would be saying... 

And dawn the next day, when I tried to write the scene, it wouldn't come. So I made a stupid error and tried to force it. Which meant it did come... 

Awfully and worse. 

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Time Off

I was working on my new book this week and hit upon a problem, as you do. The answer wasn't coming, so I took myself away from the laptop for a few minutes to have a shave, and... 

Bingo! The solution appeared in mind, just like that. 

The week before, I had another issue which I just couldn't resolve. I went to bed, feeling annoyed and concerned, and... 

Kerching! I had the answer clear and obvious when I woke the next morning. 

Which brings me to the point of this blog. Writers just don't - perhaps can't - do time off. 

Whether it's shaving, or making up a cup of tea, or sleeping, or even taking an evening stroll around my beloved River Exe, and delighting in another of its sunset spectacles - 

blog sunset.JPG

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Writing Parenting

It's been a joyous few days on the writing parenting front. 

What's he talking about now? Well, it's the strange way I think of myself when working with aspiring authors. 

I love teaching writing just for the simple delight of sharing the passion with fellow travellers. But a particular high comes from seeing some actually get published. And so come news of not one debutant, but two. 

First was Fay's War, by Rosalie Simons, a lovely historical story with a futuristic twist - 

And then I receive a heart-warming thank you from fellow crime writer, CJ Browne, for my help in getting Revenge Ritual published - 

Writing parenting brings a wonderful high, and I can proudly report I've now lost count of the number of fellow authors I've helped on the way. 

While I'm on the subject of fatherhood, and pride, I must mention this very special lady - 

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