Countdown to the Road to Murder


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A week and a day to publication!

Eight more days, and the Road to Murder will be out there… It’s an exciting time – full of last-minute dds and ends together with the people at Sapere Books – and also a slightly terrifying one… Continue reading

Form and substance


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It mostly comes in two flavours.

Flavour the first: now and then, when I hyperventilate over some (more or less) minute detail gone wrong in a play, a story, a talk, or whatnot, some sympathetic soul will try to convince me that it was a negligible hitch in the form – but the substance was there, and substance is what truly matters…

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Life as a mystery writer


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Because I’m busy tweaking things, and filling gaps, and this sort of things in TW2*, yesterday I up and asked my mother’s physiotherapist what the best entry point would be for a stab wound in the back.

“I want it to quickly give the victim breathing trouble,” I explained – and, having spent half the morning poring over medical journals, even spouted that I probably wanted a bad case of tension pneumothorax… Continue reading

Burning the midnight oil…


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Midnight – and rather later, in fact, because it was half past three in the morning when I added the last word to Draft 1 of ATP, Tom Walsingham’s second foray into espionage and sleuthing. Hooray!

And then it wasn’t really the last word, of course. You all know how it is: as soon as I’d saved the thing and done a back-up, I had to open it again and add one more little paragraph, and then a little later an idea occurred to me, and I jotted it down in the notebook, and by then I was wide awake anyway, far too excited to sleep, so I could have gone another hour without great difficulty – but the fact was, Draft 1 was finished, and it was well past four, so I went to bed, and found that I could sleep after all… Continue reading

And Draft 1


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Well, no – this is not to say that I have finished Draft 1… I’m about halfway through, though, and it is not an entirely bad place to be at this point.  Oh, I do have almost daily bouts of How Will I Ever Meet The Deadline, but it is a common disease, and actually I’m pretty much on schedule, so what does one do, except ignore the bouts and write on? Continue reading

The times, such as they are



We write to a deadline, we drive to Town and back, we run around rehearsing the next play, we listen to the news, we bake sweets, we take the cat at the vet’s and discuss geopolitics in the waiting room, we watch from the window the first wood-pigeon drinking in the pond – back from wherever it is they go to winter – we hunt for that one missing prop, we listen to more news, we worry about friends over there – who live with their bags packed up in the hall, ready to run at a moment’s notice – and we wonder how all this will read in history books, a century or two from now. We write on, we muse on crumbling empires, we marvel at the flowers of an early spring, we go through rehearsing schedules on the phone, we shake our heads in disbelief at the TV set, we hire on for big translation jobs, we frankly have no idea what will happen next, we go on writing, and we just can’t help the thought: by the time the deadline comes, what will the world look like?