Thursday, 6 October 2016

Crime Pays

What is it with crime? We’re obsessed with it – or the people committing it. I admit I’m probably slightly biased in that I work in law enforcement and so my day job usually concerns crime in one form or another, but at least I have an excuse to be a crime writer! My first crime novel was inspired by the day job; having spent a few years investigating heroin importations, I wanted to look further down the chain at street drugs and how they might affect lives. And so I found my teenage Michael, dumped by his girlfriend in a club on his seventeenth birthday, and I needed to tell his story …

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Saturday, 9 July 2016

But Where Will I Put My Books?

I grew up with books. I remember my dad bringing home a Famous Five book every Friday – I used to be ready and waiting for him to come home from work and I’d have finished the book by the end of the weekend. The newsagent would deliver my comic on a Saturday and I’d lie in bed listening for the clink of the letter box; I’d scurry down and take my comic back to bed to read.

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Friday, 10 June 2016

CrimeFest and Other Conventions

I've blogged in the past about conferences and conventions. I've done a fair few over the years - from the early days of the Southampton (later Winchester) Writers' Conference to the many years of attending and/or running British Fantasy Society conventions. I've been as a 'guest' to Sci-Fi Weekender, and I even once went to a Star Trek convention - purely for research, you understand?

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Sunday, 1 May 2016

Reading Aloud

It’s been an odd year so far. April already and I don’t seem to have achieved anything – writing or otherwise. I’m unsettled due to an impending house move and the creative juices are drying up completely.

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Sunday, 6 March 2016

A New Kind of Book Club

So you really want to join a book club. You ask around and find a few events locally, but they’re not quite right for you – nothing wrong with them, but your ideas don’t quite fit.

Maybe you’ll just stay home and read books instead. But then you think on it a bit more and decide to start your own book club. It helps that you have contacts in the hospitality industry and you know just the right place to host such a thing

Sunday, 20 December 2015


Writers' Group exercise. 10 minutes: Fact or fiction. Describe your first encounter with a celebrity.

He's all leather and tattoos. Red and green snakes entwine each arm. He's got a bottle of something - beer? - in one hand and a cigarette in the other. One booted foot taps to the faint rhythm of the warm-up band.  He wears a red bandanna around his head, a skull ring on one finger and a bar through his eyebrow. 

And he's smiling at me.

I glance around, convinced it's somebody else he's looking at. But for once I'm alone. Climbing that wall was hard, but it was worth it, given me access to a backstage yard of some kind. There are rubbish dumpers to one side and a couple of tatty camping chairs next to an upturned crate. My ankle hurts and I want to sit down.

But he's still smiling at me, still counting the beat of the drums inside. What's he doing out here anyway? They'll be on soon  - shouldn't he be rehearsing or something? 

Kai, his name is. I've loved him since I was nine, when I first saw a poster on the wall of the old theatre in town. I sold my laptop to pay for the coach fare and this ticket, lied to my mates and missed an afternoon of school to get here on time. And he's waiting for me, just like he promised.

My mum's going to kill me.