Crafting an ending

I’m near the end of the first full draft of my new novel, The dead can lie. It’s about Greg, a criminologist whose wife was killed by a serial killer known as the Dreamer. A year after her death, Greg has no new leads, and is close to ending it all, when he receives a phone call that changes everything.… Read the rest


In the footsteps of Nadia…(Hong Kong)

Over the summer I went to do some tai chi training in Hong Kong, which happened to be where I sent Nadia and Jake in the final book, 88 North. When I wasn’t training, I spent quite a bit of time re-tracing their steps in Wan Chai, Central, the Peak, Victoria Park, etc.

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Black holes and writing strategies

As a thriller writer, whether action or psychological, the beginning and end of a novel are not usually the danger zones. It’s the middle. That’s the part when things can slow down or get confusing, and the reader can put the book down and begin searching on Netflix… So, you need something to keep the reader, and even the writer, going full steam ahead.… Read the rest


Diving with sharks and mantas…

The Nadia Laksheva series contains a lot of diving, and as they say, write what you know… I’ve just been diving with sharks and mantas in Socorro Islands, off the western coast of Mexican Baja. These are remote uninhabited islands in the Pacific Ocean, famed for sightings of many large ocean-going fish (called pelagics), including sharks and giant mantas, as well as humpback whales and dolphins. 

 

On the menu in May were mainly sharks and mantas.… Read the rest


Radio interview with Fran Lewis

I had an extended radio interview the other day with BlogTalkRadio host Fran Lewis in New York, on the second book in the series, 37 Hours. You can listen to it here. The interview focused on what happened and why, the various locations of the book, and – inevitably – the shark attack scene.… Read the rest


Nadia heading North…

I’m sitting in a brasserie at the seaside on the French northern coast, fast approaching the 70000 word mark, and thought I’d give an update on Nadia’s progress. 

So far the book begins in Hong Kong (see earlier blogs for excerpts), where Nadia is trying to locate Salamander, and encounters Blue Fan, a deadly assassin from one of the five main triads.… Read the rest


88 North… sneak preview

I’m not quite halfway through writing the third instalment of the Nadia Laksheva series, called 88 North, but thought I’d give a sneak preview of some of the action to come. The following scene concerns someone mentioned several times in the second book, 37 Hours, who goes by the name Blue Fan.… Read the rest


On writing shoot-outs, OK Corral-style

I grew up watching Westerns with my Dad, from Shane to Jesse James, from High Noon to True Grit. Probably the Magnificent seven would be my favourite. But can you imagine how to write something like that, to capture the dynamics, in a book?… Read the rest


Why I wrote 37 Hours

I remember when the accident at Three Mile Island (TMI) happened. It was the first time anything major transpired with a nuclear power plant. At the time I was pro-nuclear – it was hailed as the way forward: clean, limitless energy.Read the rest

Five rules for a sympathetic killer protagonist

These days many thrillers have protagonists who, if you stand back for a moment, are only marginally better than the people they are hunting down or trying to escape from. This is particularly the case when they are cold-blooded killers. Most of us as readers would never dream of killing anyone, and wouldn’t hang out with killers.… Read the rest