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


Guest Blog – JFK’s travels & writing

Last week I had a guest blog on Karen King’s ‘Travel Thursday’ Blog. It seems to have had a lot of hits, so thought I’d post it here as well. You can read it here.… Read the rest


Writers and Russian Roulette

People always ask me if I know the end of my next book. I always reply yes,  because I do, and that I know the beginning. However, the middle 250 or so pages is sometimes a different matter. It’s like being able to see a house on a faraway mountain, but the valley before it is shrouded in mist.… Read the rest


Write what you don’t know…

About 18 months ago I was at the York Writer’s Festival pitching my book 66 Metres to three agents, who all roundly rejected it. One of them took me aside, and said, ‘Look, this book is about a young Russian woman.… Read the rest


When is a novel finished?

This is a kind of zen koan – a mind-bending unanswerable question – for many authors. But as I’m getting ready to send off my next manuscript, these are the ten questions I ask myself:

  1. Prose – is it fresh, evocative, vivid, agile?
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My writing process…

Last week back in the UK I met up with a few fans who asked me about my writing process. I’m often questioned about this because people who know me also know I have a very demanding ‘day job’, one which involves around 50 hours a week and on average one international trip per week.… Read the rest