If a book were a vaccine

Imagine you’re a bright ambitious novelist who has already proved your writing skills in, say, non-fiction or journalism. You spend a year or two researching, planning and writing your debut novel, fitting it around the day job and your family commitments. You work on the dining room table after the kids have gone to bed.... Continue Reading →

Here Comes Christmas!

Last year I wrote a piece called ‘Christmas Comes Early’, when the shops were putting cards out in September. This year I’m not moaning because, let’s face it, we’ve all had a rubbish year. As a writer I’ve had a better time than most as I work from home, don’t have a business to lose... Continue Reading →

‘Occupation…’ Book Signing

I had the pleasure of signing copies of 'Occupation to Liberation' at Guernsey Museum during 'Big Geekend'. This followed on from talking about my latest writing projects on the JKT show on Radio Guernsey - it can be found on iplayer for Thursday 24th from 11.15 until noon. During Big Geekend I also had a... Continue Reading →

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 →

The Festival that Nearly Was

The Alderney Literary Festival 2020 was due to have taken place on the third weekend of March, but with just one week to go was cancelled due to the looming coronavirus crisis. I was already out there and brushing up for my panels when the news came that disappointed us all. Rory Clements was one... Continue Reading →

Daggers of Delight

It’s October, which means it must be time for the CWA Daggers Awards, the Oscars of the Crime writing world. On the left of the featured image is M W Craven, winner of the Golden Dagger for the best crime novel of the year for The Puppet Show. Mike reminded everyone in his acceptance speech that... Continue Reading →

Smoke Gets in Your Plot

Picture the scene. The detective walks into the bar and approaches the femme fatale. Very Bogart and Bacall. He offers her a cigarette, then lights it for her. Yaaawn… I have read so many thrillers recently which would have been two chapters shorter if the lead characters didn’t smoke. Descriptions of people fiddling with cigarettes,... Continue Reading →

Crimefest 2019

It was not quite déjà vu at this year’s Bristol Crimefest as the venue had moved to the Marriot Grand. The hotel was closer to the historic heart of the City, so was a welcome change, allowing a little exploration in each break and a different selection of local restaurants to sample, where I tasted... Continue Reading →

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 →

Farewell Black Desk

So it's farewell to my faithful black desk, too old and rickety and too darned heavy to be moved again. I bought it from a pre-IKEA furniture store on the outskirts of York in 1989 and since then it has taken up station in at least half a dozen different studies of mine. Flat-pack, self-assembly chipboard,... Continue Reading →

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