Category Archives for The Writing Process

Where do authors get their ideas?

Where Do Authors Get Their Ideas?

If I had a dollar for every time someone had asked me, ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ I’d be so rich I wouldn’t need to write any more books. (But I would, anyway). Ideas are everywhere To a non-writer, it must seem like a perfectly logical question, but for many writers it’s a […]

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typewriter with have a nice day

Why Crime Writers Are Such Nice People

The other day someone said to me, ‘You’re such a happy person. Why do you like writing crime?’Although my novels fit more into the psychological suspense/noir genres, crime plays a significant role in them.My reply was along the lines of, ‘That’s why I’m so happy, because I release my dark side on to the page.’M […]

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Confessions of a Grammar Nazi

Confessions Of A Grammar Nazi

I suffer from an affliction shared by many other writers. (Apart from caffeine addiction, procrastination and thinking about plots while driving and missing my exit). I am a grammar Nazi. And under that umbrella I also place misspelling and erroneous punctuation. Repeat after me please. They’re drinking their coffee over there.Wanted: man with good grammarI’m […]

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Down the rabbit hole


Most novels require some sort of research. If you’re writing a novel set in a different historical period, obviously you need to do a lot of research. But regardless of what genre of novel you’re writing, things come up that you need to investigate (with perhaps the exception of fantasy, because you can make everything […]

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Five reasons to have a messy desk

Five Reasons To Have A Messy Desk

​What do I have in common with Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg?No, it’s not that I’m a genius, though it’s very kind of you to suggest it.You’ll never guess so I’ll tell you: we all have messy desks. Or in the case of Albert and Steve, had messy desks. There’s a lot of […]

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The Elephant House Edinburgh

Why Do Writers Love To Write In Coffee Shops?

Since becoming a full-time writer I’ve become a cliché – I love writing in coffee shops. I’ve written in a previous post about my local library being my favourite office away from home, but coffee shops come in as equal favourite.IT’S A TRADITIONIn my defence, I’m continuing to uphold a fine and noble tradition of […]

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Why I Love Travel Journals

Why I Love Travel Journals

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. These are the words of St Augustine, a Christian theologian who died in 430 AD. And travel back then meant endless days under the beating sun or frozen sky on economy class donkeys, sustained by meagre portions of dried bread […]

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A bookcase in the library

Writers’ Rituals and Why They Work

We writers are a weird bunch… For a start, anyone who spends a lot of their time hanging out with imaginary people has to be just a wee bit crazy. And never more so than when it comes to writing rituals. Now you’d  think that sitting down to write would be easy. Just plonk your […]

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The Novella - Don't Sell It Short

The Novella – Don’t Sell It Short

I’m excited! I’ve just started on a new project – writing a novella. The novella, the novel’s little brother, has traditionally been overshadowed by its larger sibling, but is now coming into its own. And I want to be part of it!  The fact that I only have to write around 40 000 words, 50 […]

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man sitting at computer looking at the world


  One of the perks of being a writer is the research you often have to do for the authenticity of your story, characters, setting etc.  While writing my novels I’ve learnt about roof tiling, computer hacking, being in jail, various mental illnesses and sex shops, to name a few. Information I’ll probably never need […]

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