Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Latest articles in Writing Magazine (February)

 My latest contributions to Writing Magazine February edition are:

Beginners - 'Broad Strokes' - dealing with the habit of reworking a passage endlessly, to no good avail, effectively killing the creative mood stone dead. Don't get stuck - get writing.

The debut author this month is Zoe Caldwell, with her crime thriller 'Predator' (publ Bloodhound Books). Whilst not exactly her first book (four previous novels were romantic comedies), this is quite a dramatic jump in what has been described as 'not for the faint-hearted', a tale of glamour shielding a vengeful killer.   


Friday, 1 January 2021

New Article in Writing Magazine

 In this month's (January) edition of Writing Magazine my Beginners page is called 'A Good Fit'.

Less to do with finding those shoes you bought online are not the correct size, more to do with making sure you're happy in your writing skin.

The only way of finding out whether you're comfortable in what you write - which includes whether you write short stories, articles, books, plays or poems - is to try something different. That entails checking the market to see what's needed out there, then trying to satisfy it - and yourself.

Remember, though, that just because you don't get anywhere in one genre doesn't mean you won't succeed in another.

The best answer for 2021 is, try it and see what fits. Good luck!


Tuesday, 17 November 2020

New articles in December's Writing Magazine

 Next month's edition of Writing Magazine includes my regular Beginners page and my alternate-monthly New Author profile.

Beginners first, with a piece called 'The Ripple Effect'. Not the result of your hero or heroine hurling themselves into a river, beset by grief over lost love, lost money or that hank of a lover's hair they'd  always promised faithfully to keep close to their heart (or, at least, until the next hot babe/dude** (**delete as appropriate) came along.

The ripples I'm talking about are the after-effects resulting from an event, words or action. Essentially, nothing dramatic happens in a vacuum. Drop a plate and people react; it's an everyday thing and as natural as breathing. But how often do we include these outsider-reactions in our storytelling? Yet in real life it's always there.

Including this in your story is what is called added value, and lends depth and realism to your tale. 

Don't forget it, otherwise you may leave your reader underwhelmed and wondering why nobody reacted to that dinner plate crashing to the floor. And you don't want that


The New Author this month is Matthew Ross, whose debut crime novel 'Death of a Painter' was published in April by Red Dog Press. 

Set in the construction industry, the story centres on Mark Pointer, who becomes a suspect in the death of a colleague, and has to scramble to to find out how to get out of the nightmare he's in. 

It's not Scandi-noir; instead, says Matthew, think cosy - like Montalbano (the series by Andrea Camilleri). His sequel featuring the same character, is called 'The Red Admiral's Secret', and
due out in early 2021.

'Death of a Painter' - get it here.


Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Latest articles in Writing Magazine.

 It's the eleventh month of the year already and... well, time's passing too quick!

This month's issue of Writing Magazine - apart from a brilliantly noteworthy and timely cover pic, includes my latest Beginners article - 'One Foot in Front of the Other'.

Nothing to do with walking, rather laying down a footprint to show what you're capable of (writing). Because nothing proves you can write more than... well, doing just that. That's how I started - that's how we all start.

It doesn't have to be a complete book - or even a complete anything. Just write something, hopefully the extension of an idea that's been with you for a while or something that just struck you and had stuck with you. Do that and you're on your way.

As you've already discovered, writing something will drag you onto doing more of same, and this whole game is about putting down words on paper which people can read. 

(As an example, imagine knocking on someone's door one day and being confronted by the two beings in this cover pic. That should set you off. Good luck!)



Friday, 16 October 2020

Latest Articles Writing Magazine

 October has brought my latest 'Beginners' piece, 'About Time - Story Time' - aka 'If you have the time on your hands - get on with it!'


Also featured is, on the New Author Profile page, Nick Pettigrew and his debut, 'Anti-Social - The Secret Diary of an Anti-Social behaviour Officer.'  A memoir of his time in the job, with elements of humour, it draws on Nick's experiences and reveals his thoughts on how we as a country could, in his view, do some things a lot better than we do. 

Ant-Social - The Secret Diary of an Anti=Social Behaviour Officer -


Thursday, 3 September 2020

When is the best time to start writing?

Writing Magazine have kindly asked me to do a short video on the best time to start writing. 

Well, anytime is best... but if you're in lock-down or isolation and have time on your hands and inspiration running wild in your head, why not give it a go?

The video link is below, so give it a listen (and for those of a sensitive nature, with your eyes closed). I apologise for my haircut. I WAS IN LOCKDOWN, ALRIGHT?

There. I feel so much better. I hope you do, too.

Get writing. Anything you like. You know you want to...

Good luck.

The Best Time to Write

or open in your browser -



Monday, 17 August 2020

Latest Article in Writing Magazine

The September edition of Writing Magazine (UK) contains my Beginners page, 
'An Advisory Capacity'.