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

Review: The Sons

Review: THE SONS, by Anton Svensson, published by Sphere, Hardback £18.99 ISBN:978 0 7515 57777 0 This is a book by authors I had not heard of. Anton Svensson is a writing partnership between Stefan Thunberg, a celebrated screenwriter, and Anders Roslund, an investigative journalist.Their first book, “Father”, achieved rave reviews, and I was keen … 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

Review: Origin by Dan Brown, published by Bantam

Review: Origin by Dan Brown, published by Bantam Hardback edition: £20, ISBN 978-0-5930-7875-4 I have had a firm policy for many years not to be rude about other writers’ work. In part it is a principle based on the fact that although I may not like a specific book, other people may well enjoy it. … Continue reading

Shots E-Zine

Over the last twenty-odd years I have contributed to a number of excellent magazines and e-zines. I have been fortunate to have been given many books to review and comment on, and most of the time I have taken the very sensible approach of only commenting on the books I’ve really enjoyed. After all, there … 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