Once upon a time, December used to be a rather non-writing month, all given to Christmas preparations. Crafting ornaments and decorations, trimming trees, baking Lebkuchen, making the pudding, searching for presents, listening to carols… this sort of things.
I’m sure you know how it goes.
You are working on a project. A long term one. Longer than you planned at first, perhaps – but sometimes things have their own way of stretching into something else, and… and… oh, you do know how it goes. Continue reading
They come to you, and say that they have a story, a really good story that you should really write.
In time you learn to recognize this, a certain gleam in their eyes from the very first moment someone mentions that you write. Then they sit on it, they observe you, sometimes they ask questions, trying to determine whether you might be the right person… Continue reading
You know those moments – those moments when a book speaks to you? When you read something that might have been written exactly for you to find it? Well, I had a rather peculiar moment of that kind, yesterday… Continue reading
Oh, the joys of Freewriting…!
Or Timed Writing, or however you like to call it. The deceptively simple act of sitting down with a pen and a piece of paper (or perhaps a keyboard and white screen), set a timer or a goal, and then… just write. Never stop, never edit, never overthink it, never mind grammar of spelling, never go back. Just write, as fast as you can. Just let if flow – until the timer rings, or the goal is met. Continue reading
A few months ago, as I was working on Road to Murder, I found trouble in the form of a French town called Montreuil sur Mer.* Well, for various reasons, my sleuth Tom Walsingham finds himself spending a night there, much against his inclination, and I needed to have a good idea of the place for that… Continue reading
They stopped Walsingham and Paulo, my Italian, whom they seemed resolved to rob [… and] another Englishman in his company, called Skeggs, as I remember.
On the twelfth of November 1581 Elizabeth’s Ambassador in Paris, Sir Henry Cobham, wrote to the all-powerful Secretary of State – and spymaster – Sir Francis Walsingham . It was almost in passing that the ambassador slipped in this bit of information about the misadventure of Sir Francis’s much younger cousin, nineteen-year-old Thomas, riding as a diplomatic courier between London and Paris. Continue reading