What is crime fiction?

This week, on a course about Crime Fiction, we were asked the question ‘what is crime fiction?’ You’d have thought we’d know, since we’d signed up for a fairly significant chunk of education on the subject, but it was harder to answer than you might expect. It was really quite a clever bit of teaching,…

Read More

Keeping on keeping on 

It’s heading up for a decade since I was first published and there have been ups and downs but there is much to celebrate. There are a number of landmark celebration blog posts on their way. But in the meantime, here’s my latest YouTube video. Stephen King, showing how it’s done. A completely natural storyteller.…

Read More

Nothing new under the sun

I’m often asked by writing students about copyright and plagiarism, and the best ways to make sure no one steals your ideas. It’s something that beginners seem unduly concerned about. I’m not saying it can’t happen but I’ve never really worried. I know a lot of writers and I understand the mindset; the very last thing…

Read More

Protecting us from the threats of poetry

Today I read the prime minister’s ‘vision for a smarter state’ and, as I glanced across the page, I misread a line about how he intended to protect us from ‘terrorism, poetry and climate change’. It actually said poverty, which is a laugh. I’m pretty sure the way I read it was more accurate. You…

Read More

Neil Gaiman on writing, publishing and ideas

The latest video on my YouTube channel is of Neil Gaiman answering questions from various interviews. I’ve pulled together the ones I liked the best. He’s wise and very funny, as one might expect. I hope you enjoy.

Read More

Independence Day

Back in May, I wrote a little here about my first foray into Independent Publishing, or what would have been called self-publishing until recent years. I’ve set up my own imprint, which I’ve called  Blue Morpho Press (in honour of the wonderful butterfly MORPH who is a feature of The Killing Jar, my first novel) but I…

Read More

Advice from Stephen King

Over the last few months, I’ve been building a channel on YouTube and adding videos. I am quite a visual person, I think, and find this an engaging way to share thoughts and be social online. It’s still early days; I have just over 40 subscribers. I’ve been slowed down by a heavy marking schedule…

Read More

So I turned my blog post into a video. Advice for writers, the trance remix

Read More

Some advice for writers

Start by imagining a trance soundtrack. Something like the backdrop to that speech about wearing sunscreen. You can play the original in the background, if you want to. Then I can explain. WRITE Don’t listen to other writers. Or listen to them fine and then ignore it all later. Or listen to them and take them very seriously and…

Read More