Saxon, Thugs and Schlock & Gore

Who was the mysterious writer of gratuitous horror that enthralled the teenage author?

The Joy of Sexton

What set me on the road to crime?

Cutting to the Chase

What British crime writer appeared in court charged with obscenity?

Thoughts on weighty reads – and more

Today, class, let’s talk about length. I have a problem with excessive length… Okay, get the giggling over with. I’ll wait. Fine… I am, of course, talking about books. And...

The Beautiful Cigar Girl and the Troubled Author

The true life case that inspired one of the earliest detective stories - and the questions that still hang over it. Is it possible the man responsible for creating the genre was himself a murderer?

Facing a blank page

A blank page. That’s what all authors begin with. Pristine white, apart from the blink of the cursor, flashing like some kind of Morse Code challenge. Come on, it says,...

Magnificent seven books

OVER on that Facebook place, I was challenged by pal Richard Bruce to come up with seven books that influenced me. My regular reader – she’s a nice woman –...

A Day Long Remembered

It's been 40 years since we were introduced to the world of the Empire, the Jedi and The Force.

Another record breaking year for Bloody Scotland

Well. That’s Bloody Scotland 2017 over, never to be seen again. Except in photographs. It was another record-breaker, with ticket sales 30% up on last year. The Festival just grows...

Investigating why a book just isn’t work

I wasn't being drawn back to the book I was writing. Which is not a good thing. The question was, why?