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

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

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