My top tips for writing a 'can't put down thriller'
My first book was released nearly three years ago now and since then I've sold well over 200,000 copies (thank you everyone who's bought them!). In just a few weeks my fifth book - The Red Cobra - will be out there for all the world to read (I can't wait!), with more in the pipeline. A question I still get asked regularly is how do I actually go about writing a book? It’s a question I’m sure if I wound back the clock ten years I’d have been keen to hear the answer too as well
Chasing a bestseller...
Two years ago, after a long period of rejection from agents and publishers alike, I took the decision to self-publish my first novel, Dance with the Enemy. My life has changed immeasurably since. I’ve given up a high-flying career to pursue my dream of being a full time author (and a more recent dream of becoming a Hollywood screenwriter!). My Enemy series books have won critical acclaim from readers and bloggers across the world, and sales of those three books flew past 150,
Thrillers: Books vs film
I’m a huge thriller fan, whether it be books or film, and it’s probably no surprise therefore that so many of my readers have commented how they think the Enemy Series would translate so naturally onto the big screen (any Hollywood producers reading this, just give me a call). So which is best and why? I’m not sure I have an answer to that. I love both books and films for different reasons. Books are special to so many people. With a book you transport yourself into your own
The key to writing thrilling action scenes
All of my novels have a big emphasis on action. It follows directly from the types of books that I love to read and the movies that I watch. The key to action scenes, obviously, is to make them dramatic! Sounds simple, but there’s a bit more to it than that. A really good piece of writing advice that I heard is “write the slow stuff fast and the fast stuff slow”. It’s a great way of thinking. Action scenes are by their very nature supposed to be fast and frenetic. But don’t r
Sequels that exceed expectations
Writing a sequel can be a daunting experience, whether it’s a novel, for TV, film, radio or whatever. The biggest pitfall, I think, is that you’ve already set the audience’s expectation. They know your main character. They know his or her strengths and weaknesses. They have so many pre-conceptions, many of the them probably well-founded, and a lot probably entirely erroneous. But you need to somehow meet those expectations in the sequel to keep them satisfied. You need to und
Writing inspiration: Does everyone have a book in them?
A question I get asked a lot is where does my inspiration for writing come from? How do I think up the characters and plots for my stories? A lot of would-be writers, and even some people who are already writing, struggle with the concept of just how to create a story. The truthful and simple answer is I don’t know either! There you go. Shortest blog ever... Ok, ok, let me try to explain then. I guess there are two key facets I see. One is in having the actual ideas, the othe
The entrepreneurial skills of the self-published author
This article was originally conceived as a guest post for Rachel Abbott's website where budding and experienced authors alike can find some fantastic tips on writing and publishing: Writing a best seller is easy, isn’t it? It’s just a process of stringing together 100,000 words in the correct order. If it’s good enough, getting the book to sell is then a no-brainer, of course. From your very first reader, word of mouth will simply take control and spiral outwards across the g
What makes a perfect thriller?
Rachel Abbott has recently released her fourth novel, Stranger Child – another psychological thriller. Here, she talks about what makes the perfect thriller for her. Asking that question is a bit like asking “What makes a man sexy?” or “What makes a plate of food delicious?” because for each of us, the answer is different. And that’s just the way it should be. The first thing that occurs to me is the range of books that are often classed as thrillers. I love all crime books,
My top writing tips
Ok, ok, I know I've not been in the writing game that long really, with only one published book (two if you're reading this after 30th April 2015), but I've been on one hell of a steep learning curve these last few years! When I was asked by fellow debut author Laura Salters to do a guest post on her blog with my top ten writing tips I was flattered and only too happy to oblige. Click here for a link to the post on Laura's blog, where you'll also see some other great posts. A
Delving into the self-publishing minefield
It was a hot summer’s day on the Costa Del Sol when my life changed. I had just finished reading the fourth book of my holiday, a mystery thriller. I slapped the paperback down onto the hot poolside slabs. I was annoyed to have guessed the main twist after the first third of the book; I am a lazy reader, not a bookaholic like my wife who devours books like I do curry (or beer). But I was increasingly finding that the books I had read were of a similar formulaic style. The lan