Keeping Up With the Crises

Most authors writing the biography of an artist have a straightforward task. The artworks are complete, and any meaning or symbolism embedded in art is fixed. It is slightly more complex if the artist is still alive and still producing new works, but a line can still be drawn. Time Limit (1979) Peter Le Vasseur... Continue Reading →

Sources: The Blackshirts

Blackshirt Masquerade is historical fiction, so required a fair amount of research before it could be plotted, and then top-up research whilst drafts were in progress. It is set in 1935 when Hugh Clifton is persuaded by MI5 to infiltrate Sir Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists. Much of the action and intrigue takes place... Continue Reading →

Avoiding Writing Disasters

All too often, angst-ridden writers post about how they have lost or messed up their work in progress. Surprisingly this includes traditionally published authors with many books behind them; laptops are stolen, manuscripts are corrupted or deleted in their entirety. The writer’s biggest crisis is losing an entire book ­– the modern equivalent of leaving... Continue Reading →

What to Leave Out?

When writing non-fiction, or indeed historical fiction, the temptation is to cram as much of your research as possible into the book. Firm discipline needs to be applied to fiction as you are not writing a textbook and explicit information-dumping must be avoided. In non-fiction the need for such discipline may relax because you are... Continue Reading →

Guernsey Books From Blue Ormer

Guernsey-based distributor Blue Ormer are now carrying stock of books written or edited by me about Guernsey, plus some to which I'm an editor or contributor. Most were previously difficult to obtain off-island barring occasional re-sellers on Amazon. The address for Blue Ormer's Guernsey history page is here. Discover more The Story of Guernsey in... Continue Reading →

Keep Calm and Carry On

This weekend I completed a novel about a conspiracy against the king. In this case, Edward VIII, but it gave me goose pimples when I have typed ‘the king’ numerous times with only Edward in mind. Modern readers, especially oversees, may wonder how the Abdication could cause such a major political crisis. The thirties were... Continue Reading →

The Fun is in the Detail

Peter le Vasseur's pictures can at first glance appear to be beautiful nature pictures. Look again, look closely and you can find detail that adds meaning to the work, sometimes indeed its title. This has been part of the fun of working with Peter and writing A Brush With Life. Picture 010 deer 5.tif The... Continue Reading →

Are You a Writer or an Author?

Plenty of bloggers have by now reported on the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival that took place in Harrogate at the end of July. The huge airy marquee gave it a different feel to pre-pandemic years, but the panels were as engaging as ever. One idea stuck with me; the difference between being a... Continue Reading →

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