As each year draws to a close, I like to reflect on what I’ve achieved, both in my personal life and my professional one. Amid the chaos of Christmas, it’s easy to feel out of control, and I find it grounding to look at each month in turn, and remember what it felt like at […]
How do writers procrastinate?
With a book deadline looming it’s highly likely you’ll find me hunched for hours in the same position, feverishly working on… defrosting the freezer. Or weeding the veg beds. Or, frankly, anything other than what I’m supposed to be doing. If procrastination is the thief of time, I’m constantly complicit in the crime. When I […]
Living with a writer: what's it really like?
Whether it’s Stephen King’s vitamin pills, Hemingway’s dawn starts, or J K Rowling’s café stints, we are endlessly fascinated by authors’ lives. But what’s it like living with a writer? I spoke to six long-suffering spouses to find out. The partners Tracy Mearns is a former bookstore manager, a ginger, the honourary wife of Denise Mina […]
Mental health in crime fiction: how flawed is too flawed?
As a life-long reader of crime fiction and suspense, I’m always intrigued by people who don’t like the genre. Too scary, too dark, too depressing… they’re all reasons I understand, even if I don’t relate to them, but a recent comment from a friend demanded further investigation. ‘I can’t bear psychological thrillers or crime fiction. […]
Why does it take so long?
Much as I love chatting to enthusiastic readers – whether online or face-to-face – there is one question I dread. ‘When’s your next book coming out?’ ‘I’m working on it!’ I say; which could, of course, mean anything from ‘it’s off to the printer next week,’ to ‘I’ve started a new Word document and have […]
Authors on Social Media: what readers want
Long before I was published I loved following authors on social media, and now that I’m an author myself, I thoroughly enjoy chatting to readers and writers online. It is, however, an area fraught with risk. How much promotion is too much? Where is the line between personal and professional lives? What sort of posts […]