Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Story Behind 'Deception'

As an author, if there's one thing you like talking about, it's your books. After months in gestation, and the hot sweat of creativity, it's rather nice to focus for a change on what brought the book about, how you came up with the characters and the various scraps that help form the storyline.

It's another way of answering the 'Where do you get your ideas?' question put by readers... but perhaps allows for more considered thought on the subject. Because if the truth be known, we don't always know at the time where the ideas originate; they simply do. And we grab them with both hands because they're like some buses - you never know when the next one will be along).

I was therefore surprised and delighted to be approached out of the blue by Kristijan Meic, editor of Upcoming4.me website, and asked if I would like to contribute a piece about 'Deception' - the third title in the Harry Tate spy series.

Would I? Wouldn't I just.

You can now read the full piece right here, as well as finding other authors talking about the story behind their stories on this interesting and intriguing website. There will be some parallels, of course, but everybody has their own reasons, motivations and kick-starts to a book. It sometimes needs teasing out.

Give them a read; it's worth it.

Thank you, Kristijan, for giving me the opportunity to talk about Harry Tate and this story. Much appreciated.


Saturday, 9 August 2014

Latest article in Writing Magazine


OK, I admit my latest 'Beginners' piece in the August issue of Writing Magazine might have been inspired by long, hot summer days sprawled in our garden room and a neighbour suggesting to me that I wasn't looking very busy.

As I replied, 'Maybe not. But you don't know what I'm thinking about, do you?'

It's a fact that we all tend to give insufficient effort to thinking time, to build ideas, plot points and scenes. Sure we can sit down and think furiously enough to give ourselves a nosebleed; but it rarely leads anywhere productive or profitable.

Instead, there's a much better way of allowing our brains to come up with the goods, and requires just a little bit of letting go.

It's called daydreaming.

It's a rarely-discussed piece of built-in software in our heads that allows the creative side of the brain to push the envelope and stretch the imagination, yet at the same time retain the information for later use. Dreams, on the other hand (the middle-of the-night variety) rarely last until morning and aren't in any way focussed.

The good thing is, the day-time variety can be done whenever the spirit takes you!

You can usually tell when somebody is daydreaming (ask any teacher): they tend to be smiling - even if looking just a little bit dippy.

Which is surely a good sign, isn't it?

It's the weekend. Do some daydreaming of your own. It's free!


Friday, 1 August 2014

New book reviews - 'Acts of Omission' and 'Hard Kill'

After a dry-ish period on the book reviewing front (busy writing, not through lack of interest), here are two more reviews of other authors' books well worth reading, both very different:

'Acts of Omission' - by Terry Stiastny. A story of political intrigue and hidden secrets going back to the time of the Cold War.


I also interviewed Terry about her writing, and you can read that via the link below:


'Hard Kill' - by JB Turner. The second in his Jon Reznick thriller series, with kidnappings, disappearances and threats of terrorist plots.


They're very different books, and I enjoyed switching from one to the other. It's nice to vary the pace a little in reading (just as it is in writing), and to have a different sense of time and setting.

I liked them both and recommend them to you.