Location, Location…Where to place your novel.


You’ve got a great story in your head, fantastic characters. The next thing…where is it going to happen?

The location is more important than you think as if it is a character in itself. Because it isn’t just the local, it is the weather, terrain, the people, even the places they live or stay in such as hotels, plays a significant part.

Changing locations in a series also help with breaking up the monotony in a story, so consider moving the characters around from time to time. This also adds to the heroes complications as they are suddenly out of their comfort zone.

Is it a good idea to visit these places? Most definitely. (and that isn’t an excuse to go on holiday,) When writing book five which is set in Malta, I used past experience and also google earth. But many scenes where giving me problems. I couldn’t figure out where a character would go in a particular situation (sorry no spoilers). So I decided to go (to the utter disappointment of my wife.) However, when I did go, I found many other things that I had not thought of.

To write a scene where you have actually seen makes things more believable. What you want is for people who are reading the stories, who are actually there to say “OH, I know where he/she means.”


What makes a character tick?


When I’m writing one of the most important questions is, “What make the character do what he/ she is doing?”  What is the driving force behind them?

Now I’m not just talking about the killer, no, I mean every single character has to have a reason for being where they are, and as a writer, you have to convey that to the reader. What makes the cop get out of bed every morning to go to a crime scene?

For a killer, it is the motive.  Whether that is love, money, to cover up another crime or they’re just messed up in the head. For other characters, it is much more difficult, such as the cop or the accompanying hero or heroine. These have to have more depth and meaning.

In my sixth book (to which I am half way through writing calm down all,) sees John Steel up against a serial killer called The Watcher, who is sending him postcards as clues as to the next victim is, Steel has to figure out why he is being led these people.

This is fun to write because it isn’t a typical killer, there is a method to the madness rather than just someone out to do harm to others.

Most of the characters in novels are not complicated, once you see them for who they are. However, there has to be a balance, as uncomplicated as the hero is the bad guy has to make you think, or the reader will feel ripped off because most readers love a novel that they can get their teeth into.




Writers, Readers and people like that.




As part of the writing community, I’m often asked to read other people’s work and give a review as part of an exchange. Now, this is an excellent way for other authors and myself to learn about each other and also the way we write. Everyone has their own style, which is brilliant and exciting.

So far I’ve had the pleasure of reading the fantastic works of brilliant authors such as Rachel Amphlett, Hugh Fraser, Mike Foster, Jack Strange and some bloke called Lee something? Just to mention just a few.

Reading is a massive part of writing, so don’t be afraid to pick up a paperback or turn on your Ebook and grab a couple of pages in your free time. What we learn about others is just a process of learning about ourselves and how we become the writers we want to be.

Books you should read….

FB_IMG_1503482498996.jpgThree great books I’m trying to get through. (Also attempting to write book 6). All are fantastic reads. Hugh has exciting characters that he brings to life beautifully. Rachel once again pulls us into the story like a pitbull and you just don’t want to pull away. Lee once again draws us into the brilliant world of that guy who every guy wants to be.

A writers confussion..

As a mystery writer it is my job to try and understand the minds of the criminal. Try and learn what makes people do acts of violence to one another. In books it is usual a simple motive of; Love, money, revenge, power or to cover another crime.

But unfortunatly, when i see on the television such acts as what has befallen Europe of late, I am truly without understanding. what drives a person to crash through a crowd of innocent people?

This is not for religion, because no religion condones such acts, its not for love, or revenge, it is unfortunally just evil.

Our thoughts and prayers go to the families to those killed and quick recovery to those injured.




Written on my cell phone. . . . . . Wonder woman review.

Last night I finally got to see the wonder woman movie, and what all the fuss was about.

Now, if anyone grew up with the eighties tv show, forget that. No invisible planes here.

The story is a tale of her growing up and training.  The time is set during WW1. All seems well on the Amazon’s hidden island until a British pilot in a German plane crashes the party.

This is a story of Princess Diana  (or wonder woman ) on a mission to kill Aries to stop the world war.

Gal Gadot plays the Amazonian princess worrier. She plays the part beautifully.  Full of emotions to can relate too. All the actors are brilliant.  Chris Pine also plays his part as the agent wonderfully.

The film was possibly the best yet, especially for those who are not fans of the superhero movies. I really enjoyed the movie and it will be on my dvd shelf when it comes out.

Oh spoiler alert….if anyone waits until the end of the credits for a teaser. ..there isn’t one so when the credits start you can leave.

I give the film 5 out of 5.

Go and see for yourself.

Oh look..a Hotel Review.


At the start of the year I decided I needed to go on a trip to Malta for book research for my fifth book. But which hotel to go too? So I decided the best one would be the Hotel that would appear in the novel (for research purposes only of course). The Grand Hotel Excelsior was one that was recommended to me. So it was decided. Tickets booked and months later off we popped. Malta in march? Had the possibilities of  cold weather, but no. Warm and sunny as a summer day. But what of the Hotel I hear you cry?

The hotel has five stars, and in my very they are more than earned. On first impressions the place looks as grand as the name. Marble floors and double staircases. Wood and brass fittings along with elaborate carved statues. The whole place gives you the feel you are in an Agatha Christie novel, and Poirot is about to step out of the elevator. It is stylish and posh without been pompous.

The rooms are excellent, with free water bottles and tea/coffee facilities. There isn’t an iron but anything you require just ask the front desk. We got a superior room with balcony and sea view, and what a view. The beds are comfortable and bathroom is large with enough items to make the modest of us say wow. The TV channels are limited but you’re not there to watch telly. However there are enough channels to keep anyone happy.

We booked half-bored, (the old breakfast and dinner in the package), this is of course was a good decision as the food is excellent. There is of course WiFi and a fantastic bar. A private vehicle can be booked at a reasonable price for day trips and excursions.

The staff is friendly and very helpful. The gym isn’t quite Golds Gym however there is enough equipment to get a good work out. There is an indoor pool as well as an outdoor pool for all you swimmers. The town is only a few minutes walk so no need for bus routes or taxis (be warned there are some steps to the main road).

So far the stay at the Grand Hotel Excelsior has been an absolute pleasure and would fully recommend it to anyone.

All in all, five out of five.