Writing Lessons 2

This follows on from the post yesterday, so if you haven’t read that, it could be a good idea to take a quick look. Right. Now, hopefully you will have a sheet of paper with a fair description of someone you know, someone you have met, or someone you have made up. The first thing … Continue reading

Writing Lessons 1

I get a fairly regular number of emails and tweets from people who really want to write, but just cannot quite work out what to write. Only this morning I had a rather desperate-sounding message from a guy who has all the tools, but as he said in his note, ‘I have tried and struggled … Continue reading

The Whole Thing Just Gelled!

Today, I finally realised that this latest story has finally gelled. Gelled? I’ve been working on this book for months. I’ve been writing it for the last few weeks. How on earth can it have taken so long for the story to have formed itself in my mind? It’s a curious thing, writing. Some books … Continue reading

Crediton Literary Festival

Last week I wrote about a great little festival in the Gladstone’s Library in Flintshire. And now here’s another one.  Last weekend I had the pleasure of joining with the Exeter Writers’ Association at the second Crediton Festival. Last year it was a small affair, with a number of the Exeter Writers standing and giving … Continue reading

An Argument of Blood and A Black Matter for the King, by Matthew Willis & JA Ironside

There is little which is quite so exciting for me as discovering a fresh, new talent in historical writing. In Willis and Ironside I feel I’ve found two writers who can carry me back to the past and can show me a time when, amid the brutality and irrationality of politics, there were still great … Continue reading

Alibis in the Archives at Gladstone’s Library

There are times when writing seems a doddle, and other times when all you want to do is sit down and write, but these other things get in the way … I was very grateful to be invited to the annual Alibis in the Archive event, part of Gladfest at the Gladstone Library. For one … Continue reading

Pinkerton’s Great Detective – The Amazing Life and Times of James McParland, by Beau Riffenburgh, published by Penguin Group.

  I found this book while researching the early 20th Century. It was not the book I was expecting. In the 1800s, there was a furious series of battles, more or less, between Miners in different coal and steel areas, and the companies that owned the mines, the railways, and smelting works. It was a … Continue reading

Pilgrim’s War by Michael Jecks

Originally posted on For winter nights – A bookish blog:
Simon & Schuster | 2018 (8 February) | 552p | Review copy | Buy the book It is March 1096 and the people of Sens in France gather to hear the crusading call of Peter the Hermit. The Holy City of Jerusalem is in the…

Saving my Sanity!

I am indebted to my brother Clive for saving my sanity this month.  How, you ask? Good question. You probably know already that I have written more than the average number of novels. 33 of them in my Templar series, I’ve a Hundred Years War trilogy, a Bloody Mary series, plus several collections, novellas and … Continue reading

Astrohaus Freewrite – Hipsters’ Bait or Worthy Device?

As readers of this blog will know, I’m an enthusiastic user of any form of technology that might help me work, whether by saving time or making me more efficient. In recent years I have tried returning to a slower, happier age by writing my books by hand. I have attempted to use typewriters, I … Continue reading