Review: HEARTS OF STONE by Simon Scarrow

As I have said before, I will only review books I’ve enjoyed. Well … I’m a novelist, and I’ve written enough books to cost half the Amazon rainforest. That, for me, means I’m pretty hard to please. Especially in my chosen specialist subject of the historical story. Historicals for me create a number of problems. … Continue reading

Books for Christmas!

Well, I hate to remind you, but it is coming close to that time of year again. Christmas. Now, of course, I mean that it’s time to go out and make someone happy. Giving presents is a heart-warming thing. It produces a feeling of well-being, an atmosphere of happiness, a sense that all is right … Continue reading

THE LATE SCHOLAR by Jill Paton Walsh

ISBN 978 1 444 76087 3 Paperback £8.99 I have always been a huge fan of the classic crime stories. When I was very young I devoured Sherlock Holmes, whose only failing was, so far as I could see, that he didn’t have more adventures. While I have read some continuation stories by other writers, … Continue reading

THE BEAST IN THE JUNGLE – Louis Bayard

ISBN 978 1 84854 234 1 Published by John Murray This is a very difficult book to review. It is filled with suspense like a strong psychological thriller, but it’s also rather historical in feel, and is a crime story in many ways, too. The basic plot is simple enough: in 1914 the former US President, Theodore … Continue reading

Quick Tips: Goals

I keep having people ask how I work: how do I get my ideas down on paper? How do I write so quickly? Well, I work one hour at a time. In 50 minutes I can type 1,000 words, and that is most of a scene, usually. Then I’ll take a ten minute break, during which I … Continue reading

A New Character

It is always hard to invent stories. First, you have to invent people, who have to feel real, well-rounded characters with lives and motivations of their own. Then you have to create a world in which they can live, and infuse that with logic and atmosphere. Finally, you need to take those people (and the … Continue reading

Where Do Stories Start?

A couple of weeks ago, I was given a firm instruction to write a bit more about the process of writing. So, just for those who asked, here are some more musings on the world of scribbling. Planning a story is a pain. Really, it is. I always characterise my work as being 9/10ths day … Continue reading

TEMPLAR’S ACRE Out This Week

So, here we are, in the launch week of another Templar Series story. But this time it’s going back in time to the siege of Acre, my first prequel to explain why Baldwin became the man he did. It was huge fun to write this book. The main story was complicated to work through, but … Continue reading

Working Again

I was chatting to Paul Johnston, the author of several excellent books (I recommend them), and he demanded to know whether I ever actually wrote anything. Well, Paul, yes I do, actually. I don’t spend all my time Morris dancing. Writing is a tough job. No, seriously – the worst part is, that you’re never … Continue reading

Displacement Activities

This has been one of those weeks of urgent work with very little to show. A few days ago Simon and Schuster let me know that there were another three books needing to be proofed, and suddenly there were three more titles to look at. And they were good books, too. The Abbot’s Gibbet, The … Continue reading