The day the newsletter came back to life...

Hello from the North West where it's been rather soggy recently. You may have seen the Whaley Bridge dam problems - Whaley is just up the hill from us. Thankfully, the dam isn't going to burst now, it seems. Our village wouldn't have been affected directly if it had have gone. However, a few days before we did suffer some pretty severe flooding locally with quite a few houses hit (several mill races run through our area). My drive home from work in Manchester was particularly hairy - top three most stressful drives ever! I only just avoided being trapped.

So, it's been a few months since I was last in touch - massive apologies for this. Time recently has been a bit (a lot) crazy with working on Gray 6 (submitted last week to my editor) and working on audiobooks for all my crime back catalogue (Burn The Evidence is now out with the rest to follow). Along with rebranding (new photo above) and all that stuff. Meaning I get a few days off before starting something new.

Speaking of which, ideas ... I try not to think much, if at all, about the plot of a new book while writing the current one so one doesn't interfere with another. My writing process is partially structured, partially evolutionary. I tend to have one core idea which is the main investigation (in the new Gray a mummified baby is found in a box - who is she? Why is she there?). I'll also have another investigation running alongside (again, the new book has teenagers embarking on a life of crime getting a lesson from someone with a dog). The story strands may or may not be linked directly - other than it's Gray investigating. Of course, his personal life is messy - his other half, Wyatt, is back at the station.

Right now I'm mulling the new idea (which I'll keep quiet on for now, sorry) by writing an outline - several paragraphs or bullet points listing the main story points, the character motivations and general actions I'd like to fit in. Then I'll list the chapters (40 minimum) and what happens in each. Sounds structured, right? Somewhat. My ideas tend to morph and develop while I'm writing meaning I usually get stuck along the line and always some text (maybe 000s of words) comes out. I could write five drafts of a book (maybe more). It can be highly frustrating - but I'm a lot better now than when I didn't outline at all!

Creatively, I'm best in the mornings. I write before everyone gets up (like now) and time is limited (my day job is a Sales Director). Which is why the newsletter dropped away (temporarily!) while I focused on Gray 6.

Going forward, as I plan the new book I'll send out updates to you meaning I'll be sharing the process of writing in (almost) real-time every couple of weeks. Drop me a line back if there's anything, in particular, you'd like to know about and I'll happily answer (except my credit card pin number).

Anyway, enough of me wittering for now, my wife is moving about the house and the shopping is going to be delivered soon (the cupboards are empty after leaving the eldest teen here for a week).

By the way, if you prefer to talk over social media I have a small but active (closed) Facebook group where I post stuff regularly. Most recently a few pics of Anglesey where we were (and miss).

All the best.