“Writing is a solitary occupation” – Jessamyn West

“Writing is a solitary occupation” – Jessamyn West

With social media this is now far from the truth

  • Posted On: 7 April 2020
I hope you are all keeping well and not finding social distancing too challenging. As everyone keeps saying, writers are used to working on their own at home – but we are always in contact with others by social media and never more so than now. Although I’m not getting out as much as usual, I am very lucky to be able to walk with my husband and dog in the empty fields and lanes of Swaledale, while fully appreciating that many are living in urban areas where exercise options are...

One part of writing crime novels I really enjoy

One part of writing crime novels I really enjoy

Research is one of the most interesting parts of my journey

  • Posted On: 30 January 2020
It may be because I had a career in academia, and even now spend half my week as a director of an innovation company, that my writing includes a significant amount of research. In fact it is the most interesting part, in my view. Previously my books have involved archaeological topics that have required me to consult not only books but also experts in their fields. For example, I had a valuable discussion with one such expert on chariot burials who assured me I wouldn’t discover one in...

Today I met one of my biggest fans

Today I met one of my biggest fans

Delighted to be number 16 on Sandy’s “Bucket List”

  • Posted On: 16 January 2020
It was a real pleasure to finally meet Sandy while she is in Swaledale concentrating on her studies. Sandy had messaged me to say that she has bought every one of my books from the post office in Reeth and it was number 16 on her Bucket List to have them signed by the author. Over coffee at the Dales Bike Centre (a favourite venue of hers and mine) we chatted about her desire to move to Swaledale, something that had been on my own list of things to achieve. It gives me a real buzz to meet...

December in Swaledale

December in Swaledale

Winter is a time for writing

  • Posted On: 16 December 2019
Suddenly Swaledale has a wintry feel and the dark evenings are perfect for writing without distractions. For me there is an annual cycle of plotting, writing, and editing because I try to finish a novel for publication in the middle of the year. It starts at the end of the summer holidays when my visiting family return home – then I begin to plan the themes that form the skeleton of my new novel. It takes several months of research – as well as hours of just thinking! Once the...

Let’s have tea and a chat

Let’s have tea and a chat

What a great way to spend an afternoon

  • Posted On: 30 October 2019
This month I discovered that talking about my new book and signing copies over tea and cake was an excellent way to meet readers new and old. I am used to speaking about my writing in church halls and village institutes around the Dales but in the past weeks the surroundings have been rather pleasanter. In the Garden Rooms at Tennants, Leyburn, I stood at a lectern complete with a carved mouse at the base. The Stripey Badger Bookshop in Grassington includes a tearoom that provided a cosy...

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