When Characters Go Rogue

I had such high hopes when I met Natalie Griffiths for the first time. She had just died (Stroke. Felled her like a tree.) without finishing her cigarette and she was bent on having another, however long it took. While she argued her case with her account manager Natalie managed to cause the death of her husband and antagonise said manager so much that she, the manager, bungled the procedure of preparing two deceased for the after life. On top of it all, Natalie — and her husband — escaped from the waiting room of the Great Beyond setting the stage for many ghost adventures. And a cigarette, obviously. Continue reading When Characters Go Rogue

A Profound Look Back at the Week: February 17-21

The first signs of spring are in the air in my part of the world and though it’s a bit early in February, I don’t mind it, too fed up with having to wear a dozen layers of clothing when I go out in the morning. It’s not that cold — we’ve got nothing on Canada, northern Russia or the States — but it is unpleasantly cold and it’s been cold for long enough. Enter spring! And close the door behind you because draught kills. Continue reading A Profound Look Back at the Week: February 17-21

Country Life: The Writing Experiment

I had my summer vacation this week. In the past, I used to make elaborate writing plans for my vacations that invariably fell through, so this year I decided to change the approach but not the goal, which was to get a bit more writing done. Continue reading Country Life: The Writing Experiment

The Perils of First Drafts

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but I like complaining. Yeah, I know, a lot of people like complaining and I think I know why: it’s kind of therapeutic. When you can’t change something (with the minimum effort), you sit back and start complaining about it, and eventually feel better. It’s bizarre, yes. My latest complaining target is the first draft of what I’d call “my second novel” if only “my second novel” didn’t sound so professional-writery. Continue reading The Perils of First Drafts

Salt of the Earth

A friend — a professional editor and proofreader — offered the other day to edit a bunch of short stories I’ve decided to publish as a collection. For free because she’s weird. Leaving the weirdness aside, however, she said something that struck a sensitive spot. Continue reading Salt of the Earth

Have Plot. Will Write.

A couple of days after my realisation I was a plane spotter I made a decision. It was a decision prompted by strong emotions and the feelings I have harboured for planes for many years, and it was this: I simply have to write a book with a plane it it. A book about a plane. A book about a flight with a problem because I’m now two seasons into Air Crash Investigation and it looks like I’m going to binge my way through the whole thing before I return to all-time classics such as Passenger 57. Continue reading Have Plot. Will Write.

I Want To Write a Book

A Twitter friend said a few days ago he wanted to write a book. “Any direction?” he said. My first impulse was to say “Forward and up!” but then I thought this person wasn’t a professional writer. He had an idea but he had never written a book before. How do you do something you’ve never done before? So I told him I’ll blog about it, try to explain to myself how someone writes a book and hopefully help with my friend’s book.  Continue reading I Want To Write a Book

Recap 2018

It’s almost over now, 2018. Like most years, it had happy and not so happy days, nobody close died, which is always an excellent thing, and the world didn’t end, once again, though I’m not sure this is good news. Here’s what I did this year. Continue reading Recap 2018

That One Book

You know how we all have some questions we’d rather never be asked? Not because the answer is embarrassing or anything but because it is impossible. Or is it just me? There is one question I really, really dread and I was recently faced with it. What is my favorite book of all time?  Continue reading That One Book