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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 →

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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 →

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‘A Brush With Life’ Launched in Style

It was a busy week in Guernsey. A Brush With Life - the Art of Peter le Vasseur was published in the UK at the end of July by Lutterworth Press. It had already been available for pre-order on Amazon but we decided to initially play it low key in Peter's home island of Guernsey... Continue Reading →

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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 →

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Portrait of the Artist as a Young Artist

Back in 2019 I was surprised and flattered when Guernsey-based artist Peter Le Vasseur asked me to write a book about his life and work. It has been a rewarding exercise but did not follow the path expected at the outset. Firstly, I left Guernsey to live in England at the end of that year.... Continue Reading →

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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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Department Z – Britain’s Gestapo?

‘Department Z? That sounds very mysterious.’ ‘Intelligence section,’ Parker said. ‘We identify threats and hunt down traitors.’ ‘Traitors? And what happens to them?’ Although Blackshirt Masquerade is fiction, Department Z really existed. The British Union of Fascists was established in late 1932 by Sir Oswald Mosley and grew rapidly in both support and ambition over... Continue Reading →

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Continuity Edit

As many authors do, I write many drafts of my books. Partly this comes from the early years in which I had very little time to write, and fitting writing into irregular time slots resulted in untidy early drafts. Draft 4 is what I call my Continuity Edit. I have a story with a beginning,... Continue Reading →

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Writer, Archaeologist, Traveller

'Thriller Writer, Archaeologist and Traveller' it says at the head of the website, and that was the plan at the end of 2019. Then guess what happened to spoil everyone's year... and the one after that too. Never one to be in fashion, it wasn't until the second anniversary of lockdown that I went down... Continue Reading →

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Crimefest is Back!

Yes Crimefest is back! After having been cancelled twice due to covid, a big question mark hung over the Bristol crime extravaganza’s future. Many attendees rolled our 2020 tickets over to keep supporting the team, and Specsavers stepped in to ensure it could go ahead this year. Attending three days of panels, choosing between two... Continue Reading →

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First Blackshirt Reviews

I was pleased by Windy Tree’s five-star review of Blackshirt Masquerade, which catches the essence of what I intended to write. “I liked this a lot...it was a pleasure to read...I have seen it listed as a 'historical mystery' elsewhere, and it certainly is historical, with espionage (MI5) and a good dash of detectiveness thrown... Continue Reading →

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Return of the Boutique Litfest

Festival organiser Isabel Picornell, Jason Monaghan and Paul McCormick of Gower Financial Services who sponsored Jason's talk (Lucie Stribrska) It's back! Alderney's small but perfectly formed Literary Festival returned after a two year absence due to covid. What makes the event special is that it concentrates on historical fiction and non-fiction, achieving a satisfying coherence.... Continue Reading →

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Launch Week!

It's launch week for Blackshirt Masquerade, which has entailed a flurry of social media posts, blogging and cross-sharing. A key part of the launch was giving a talk at the Alderney Literary Festival entitled 'Was British Fascism Doomed to Fail?' Given that Hugh Clifton's undercover work aims to thwart the fascists, his success seems pre-ordained... Continue Reading →

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Blackshirt Masquerade

Blackshirt Masquerade is the first of a series of novels set in 1930s Britain under the shadow of fascism. Perhaps this is not the right time to read about dark episodes in our past, but perhaps this might be exactly the right time to re-learn the lesson of the chaos and suffering that a man... Continue Reading →

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Music of the Night

Twenty-five short mysteries by members of the Crime Writer's Association lie in wait in the new anthology Music of the Night edited by Martin Edwards. As the title suggests each story has a musical theme, spanning different genres and settings. It is a great privilege to appear in such a starry line-up of authors. The... Continue Reading →

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Special Offer

Over the past weeks we've been discussing the artwork to be used for the cover of A Brush With Life with the publisher. Front runner at the moment is Special Offer as it is an intriguing work that leads into Peter's interest in the animals, plants and peoples of the South American rainforests. The brash... Continue Reading →

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Guernsey, 1917

The First World War was a century ago, which is as far in the past as the American Civil War was when I was at school. Nobody who fought in it is still alive and it is harder for the modern generation to understand than the Second World War. Countless films, books and TV series... Continue Reading →

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Jason’s Ebooks now listed on Bookbub

All Jason Monaghan books that are available as ebooks are now listed on Bookbub. This American site is worth joining is you are an avid consumer of ebooks, crime or otherwise. They routinely post pre-publication deals and book giveaways to subscribers, and its free to join. Why not join Bookbub and follow Jason Monaghan's page?... Continue Reading →

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Hollywood Marches on Rome

I love a good epic ­– and some epics aren’t that good but I’ll watch them anyway. Ancient Rome has long been the inspiration for big-budget movies and television series. I say ‘inspiration’ because scriptwriters have no qualms over dodging hard historical fact to scurry down alleyways of their own. The costume department is often... Continue Reading →

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Jeffrey Flint E-Book Deal

You can now order all the Jeffery Flint archaeological thrillers at once. Follow Flint and his colleagues on their adventures in this five-book deal from Lume books, available to buy on Amazon or to read through Kindle Unlimited. Find out more.

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Book Deal for 1930s Thriller

I’m happy to announce that I’ve signed a three-book deal with US publisher Level Best Books for my new thriller series. In 1935, a disgraced British army officer is recruited by MI5 to penetrate the British Union of Fascists. A twist of fate turns him into an unwitting hero of the movement, trapping him in... Continue Reading →

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That Title From a Better Man I Stole

So begins an epigram by Robert Loius Stephenson, which goes on to lament that he may as well have copied the entire work. Choosing a title for your lovingly crafted book can be a problem. You make a list, cross out alternatives one by one, ask your friends, your partner and your agent  – and... Continue Reading →

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Keeping the Police Out of the Plot

I write mysteries, not police procedurals. Jeffrey Flint, the amateur sleuth of my first series, is an archaeologist so as a writer I must address the challenge of keeping the police out of my plots. If there is an unusual murder in modern Britain it is headline news and the full might of the regional... Continue Reading →

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Return to Greece

I have that English love of Greece. Coming from chilly Yorkshire, the idea of bathing in the sea, then spending a warm summer evening eating moussaka washed down with cheap retsina is simply magical. Especially now, when the highlight of my month had been driving two miles through the slush to the local garage to... Continue Reading →

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Darkness Rises

The world is not as it should be, it is not the world we want to see, and it is not the world we used to know. Over the past sixty years, concern over Green issues have moved from the hippie fringe to become mainstream. While scientists and campaigners look forward to a better future,... Continue Reading →

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Flint is Back…Again!

A piece of good news to start 2021 with. I have signed a deal with Lume Books to republish the five Jeffrey Flint archaeology thrillers as ebooks. These were originally published by Severn House in the days before ebooks were even dreamed about. I'm sure indeed that Flint would disapprove of ebooks. His adventures take... Continue Reading →

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Keeping Occupied

This week should have seen the publication of my latest book, ‘Occupation to Liberation’. It would have been launched at the Guernsey Literary Festival, now sadly cancelled, and the launch was one of the 75 events to celebrate 75 years of freedom organised by Visit Guernsey. Although the UK is celebrating VE day this week... Continue Reading →

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Things We Writers Learn

My latest project is a thriller series set against the rise of fascism in the 1930s. My last novel was Glint of Light on Broken Glass which all in all took three years to research and write, with one of those years being absorbed by getting the detail of 1913-1919 correct. I was helped by... Continue Reading →

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An Eye for Nature

Whilst working on a new thriller, and editing the one I 'finished' earlier, I have a new project to keep me out of mischief. I'm teaming up with artist Peter Le Vasseur to produce a book on his life and work. In particular the book will feature Peter's later works with ecological and conservation themes.... Continue Reading →

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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 →

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