Words of 2017

Posted by on Jan 3, 2018 in blog | No Comments

With 171,476 words in the Oxford English Dictionary (not counting 47,156 obsolete ones), English is probably the busiest language in the world, constantly evolving and growing, augmenting its vocabulary by borrowing from other languages, adding new words from science, slang and popular culture. Some new additions are really useful; some set our teeth on edge. Personally […]

5 Questions to Ask Yourself about Viewpoint

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 in blog | No Comments

Finding the right voice and viewpoint can be tricky. Sometimes you have an instinctive sense of what point of view is right for the story; sometimes you have to try several out for size. Asking these questions might help: Can you hear a character’s voice when you think about your story? If you can, ask […]

Rolling Calf: Writing What I Know

Posted by on Oct 29, 2017 in blog | One Comment

It was exciting to find my thriller Rolling Calf long-listed this week for the Mslexia Novel Competition 2017. The novel, set in Brixton and Jamaica, is a tough tale populated by gun-toting yardies, puff-juggling Jack the Lads, and the super-cool ex-Eradication Squad officer, Miss Widow. There are eighteen homicides, two acid attacks and loads of […]


Posted by on Oct 18, 2017 in blog | No Comments

  With red suns by day, dark nights looming and a frenzy of fake blood and drunken zombies promised for Halloween, it seems like a good time to go gothic. Ghost stories, horror movies, thrillers and crime fiction need twists, turns and tension. In fact almost any genre, any narrative needs tension so here are […]

How Much Truth Do We Need?

Posted by on Jul 13, 2017 in blog | No Comments

Fiction writers are always facing the question of how factual we need to be, how much should we respect the actuality, as Alan Clark termed it so memorably.  Do we, for example, refer to real life celebrities in our work or do we employ sound-alike names or even resort to the coy dash favoured by […]