Beginning a New Story

This week I’m embarking on a new novel, and I’m going back to my roots. Yes, it’s a crime novel. I’ve had a few people ask me how I actually get started with a book. The simple answer is, I don’t know. The ideas begin when I have a basic concept occur to. Sometimes that … Continue reading

Chronodex from Scription

Yesterday I put up a blogpost that managed to garner some 500 hits in the afternoon, to my surprise. It seems that I’m not the only guy who likes to fiddle and have a new diary format. I did not invent the Chronodex, and so I didn’t want to put up a downloadable version. However, … Continue reading

Another Week, Another Edit

Last week I was glad to finish one edit – this week I have another. It’s one of the more accurate observations, the fact that all writing is rewriting. I estimated that my first novel was the result of reading and rereading my manuscript somewhere in the region of thirty five times. By the end … Continue reading

Last Week!

Last week was one of those exciting times when I was allowed out for a couple of days. It’s not easy when you’re let off the leash. I was going to Swanwick Writers’ School, which was a first for me, to give two one-hour workshops to aspiring and existing writers, but all the time while … Continue reading

Big Data!

I was reading in a magazine an article by the excellent Simon Brett earlier today. It was an obituary for Phyllis James and mentioned that some time ago, while talking about writing, they discussed the worst questions authors are asked. My own favourite worst is, “Where do your books sell?” It’s a natural question. It’s … Continue reading

Time. It’s only time.

I have some bright, intelligent men as brothers. And they may read this, so I won’t go into their foibles here. Well, not all of them. I am the youngest of four brothers. And I am inordinately lucky with my choice of family, since authors don’t always have smooth and easy lives. Having brothers who … Continue reading

Getting back into the Rhythm

This year has been particularly hard so far. We’ve already lost one lovely lady, Shelagh Palmer, and last week we helped celebrate the life of Roger Paul. Both great friends, and both will be hugely missed. Still, life has to go on. I was struck yesterday by a blog post by Harry Bingham. It makes … Continue reading

Sorting the Good from the Bad

I once read that the real problem that the allies had during the second Gulf War was information overload. They had satellites, men on the ground, aircraft, communications intelligence – so much data was coming in, that they couldn’t focus. Yes, the weaponry was superior, but they kept hitting the wrong targets because analysis was … Continue reading

Morris – an Introduction

There are some elements of any culture that cause embarrassment or difficulties when trying to translate them to people from other countries. I daresay some Scots find explaining why men wear kilts (and do or don’t wear anything beneath) as tricky, let alone the attraction of the noise of a series of pipes fed by a bladder … Continue reading

A New Week

It was just as I finished my last video, which was all about Conway Stewart’s demise, that I had a contact from a wonderful couple of guys who have set up a new company. This firm, called Bespoke British Pens, has been dealing with Onoto and other pens for some time, and now they have bought up … Continue reading