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Occupational Hazards of a Crime Writer

  You may think that being a writer means I have few, if any, occupational hazards.  Certainly I can avoid many of the difficulties and occasional dangers that surround “ordinary” working life.  For example,  I have a strong measure of control over where I work, when I work and I provide all my own equipment […]

Paranoia (or Trouble in Dystopia)

It is easy, even commonplace, to live with a twinge of paranoia nowadays. We live surrounded by cameras with computers in our cars, trackers in our phones and even smart chips in our passports. We are counted out of the country and counted back in again, our phones are besieged by people wanting us to […]

Attention-seeking Authors

Writing a book is one thing. Getting it noticed is quite another, and that is what makes up a good percentage of a writer’s work between novels. There are a lot of ways to attract attention, some good and some not so good. An example of the latter is flooding the Twitter feed with messages, […]

In praise of bookshops

This weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to read at the official opening of our new independent book shop, “Book Corner”, in Saltburn. Nestling between the former NatWest bank and Whistlestop Wines, it is a small but perfectly formed gem run by Jenna, an aspiring writer . She has managed to create a […]

Even writers need friends

It has been quite a month. First, the new book, “The Moth Man”, is finished and now I’m waiting to see the proofs before it goes to press – but more of that later. Then there was the London Book Fair and I’ve given a few thoughts on that experience in my previous post. This […]

Somerset Levels : A Lost Landscape

When I began writing the Alex Hastings books I started with the setting. My tutor, the excellent Carol Clewlow, asked us to write a place as if it were a character, advising us that the landscape should be central to crime fiction. Reflecting on my experiences in different parts of the UK, it was the […]

Radio Gaga

I’ve always been a fan of radio. I remember buying my first transistor (cast your minds back – or ask your older relatives) and glorying in the freedom to listen to what I wanted, when I wanted. This was at the time of the pirate radio stations and, living as I did on the east […]

Writers as Readers

There has been some discussion lately about the link between reading and becoming a writer. As a prolific reader from an early age (see “In praise of libraries”), I would say from personal experience there may be a link. I was extraordinarily indiscriminate when young, consuming whole series of books by one author (Willard Price, […]

In praise of libraries

I am a fan of libraries. Big ones, little ones, those wonderful book buses – show me a library and I find myself smiling. I owe my professional life to libraries – really. Without access to books I would not be writing this today. I would never have worked as a lecturer, survived the education […]

Seriously cheesed off.

Grrr. On the one hand, great news as Waterstones in Middlesbrough have agreed to stock my two books. This is a major step forwards and I am so happy. They also suggested I might supply something that could be used as a bookmark. Excellent idea I thought. Yes, a little bit of publicity by the […]