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And now for something almost completely different

Novelists often complain that reading their earlier work leaves them with a distinct feeling of unease. The passage of time between one piece of work and another inevitably leads the author to a different place – greater maturity and depth of insight, perhaps, or simply an earnest desire to improve upon his previous attempt. Writing a novel requires a considerable…

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Heart of a Murderer

Neville Heath was an ex-RAF pilot who murdered a part-time actress in a London hotel room then went on the run, sparking the biggest manhunt in British history. A charming and extremely plausible psychopath who talked his way into all levels of British society, Heath left an indelible impression on the public psyche. After booking in to the Tollard Royal Hotel…

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The killer is me

I’ve often wondered where my fascination with the darker side of life comes from. My writing tends to reflect this taste and leads me into areas other writers might choose to leave alone. Although I’ve drawn on autobiographical material in the past, the old advice to write about what you know has never really appealed to me. As a writer,…

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The devil is in the detail

Novelists can usually be divided into two camps: those that enjoy research, and those that loathe it. I belong to the former, and spend hours trawling through books and articles for subject-related matter. But how much detail should end up in a novel is open to debate. Too much and you risk the reader’s irritation. Yes, some readers enjoy textbook…

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Surfing the Edge: a survivor’s guide to bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder affects around one-percent of the population. Its symptoms range from suicidal depression to full-blown mania, where the individual believes him or herself to have godlike powers. Surfing the Edge: a survivor’s guide to bipolar disorder is the testament of three people who’ve experienced the illness first hand and lived to talk about it. The stories are honest and revealing, and…

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From Novelist to Screenwriter

Some time ago, I wrote a screenplay based on a real life murder case that had captured my imagination. I told a few friends who were also taken with the idea and, soon, a small buzz had been created without me really doing anything. One thing led to another and, through a contact of mine, I was invited to attend…

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The Enemy Within

My son informed me recently in solemn tones that he had some bad news for me. Steeling myself for the worst, I waited. The news as it turned out was indeed rather distressing.  He’d found a typo in my second novel. Given the times I’ve read the manuscript, not to mention the proofreaders and editors who’ve also been over it…

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