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

The Things That Get in the Way!

When the words are flying, writing novels is the best job in the world. Authors live other people’s lives for them. We imagine our own worlds, invent horrible situations and throw our characters (victims) into them. All just to entertain readers. But sometimes the work doesn’t go so well. All writers have their own pet … Continue reading

The Last Week of Work

Sorry to have been quiet last week, but I was working on the latest book. I still am, which is why this is likely to be a short blog too. However, it occurred to me that I ought to share the results of my last week’s work. I am in the period which I normally … Continue reading

Getting the Ideas Right

This is one of those little posts where I discuss the way that I get things done. Not that my methods will work with everyone. They certainly won’t! However, if you are trying to write up a report for the boss, or get ideas down for an important essay, or even a dissertation, and you just … Continue reading

Trials and Irritations!

This is one of those blogs where I have a brief rant. And why not? I’m sitting here before a computer that is gleaming and lovely, when outside the birds are singing, the sun is shining and  … yes, I’m sitting here indoors, in a Dartmoor granite house that is freezing. It’s so cold I’m wearing … Continue reading

Distractions All the Way

One of the hardest aspects of writing is the fact that there are so many damnably attractive alternatives. You sit at the desk and try to focus on the day ahead. That involves thinking about the coming scenes, planning, plotting, getting the mind into the right frame for envisioning bloody murder or a battle scene, … Continue reading

Technology

Welcome to another Jecks wittering. There are times when I sit at my desk and type and think about all kinds of happy things. There are times when I happily wallow in blood and guts in my mind – which is why I, like most crime writers, am such a well-balanced, pleasant, amiable fellow. I … 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

Author incomes – when does the money come in?

This is a quick post to answer the question I have been asked several times recently, which is: how soon are authors paid for their work? Oh, boy, I remember the day Marion Donaldson called me to confirm that Headline wanted to buy my first book, and that she wanted another two titles in the … 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