Category Archives: Blog

Bad Seeds Excerpt

Here it is… an excerpt from Bad Seeds – the new Jade de Jong thriller, launching on 4 April 2017.

Chapter 1

This is how you hide a body.

We’re not talking a scenario where you’ve had weeks to plan, to scope out the area, to assess the terrain. This is a rush job. Risky and dangerous, but a job nonetheless, and you are a professional.

First, the killing. Up close and personal is easy with the help of your accomplice, who provides a distraction at the right moment. The method you use is quiet. You’ve done it before. It’s also quick, bloodless and effective, but it requires skill and resolve.

You have both. Continue reading

Writer’s block? Go for a walk.

What do you do when your story isn’t moving forward? Here’s my advice: move yourself forward instead. Stand up, leave your desk, get out of the house and go for a walk.

Now, this might sound demented. Where are you going to find the time? Shouldn’t every spare second be spent on your work in progress?

The point is that, if you’re a writer, every spare second is already devoted to your work in progress. There’s nothing like fretting over a partly written novel to make the day fly by, especially if you’re at a tricky part of the writing or you’ve hit a block. It’s impossible to get the damn thing out of your mind, even if you’re busy doing other things. It simmers in the background, gently leaching your energy away. Continue reading

How (not) to Write a Book in a Year

Setting a year aside to complete your novel is a reasonable time-frame. If you approach this maturely and methodically, you should have no difficulty at all in producing a polished second draft after twelve months, which is ready for submission. Here’s how you go about it:

Month one: Excitement! Buy everything you need – maybe a nice new laptop and a paper notebook – and start doing your book research and plotting. Continue reading

Your First Million Words

Here’s a sobering thought. For a writer, your first million words will be practice. That’s about how many words you’ll need before you start getting it consistently right.

“A million?” you might shriek, outraged. (Or uncontrollably sob in a low, choked voice.) “Are you sure? You didn’t mean a thousand words? I mean, it’s not like we’re talking about mastering a foreign tongue here, or learning Martian. These is the same language I’ve been speaking ever since I first learned to say ‘Me want juice’. Surely writing must come naturally?” Continue reading

Finding the Time

A book is a mammoth effort – usually 60,000 to 100,000 words. Of course, if you participate in Nanowrimo during November and manage to reach the 50,000 word goal, you could, in theory, knock off a good chunk of your first draft in thirty quick days.

However, if you’re a busy person with a job and a life, with friends and children and parents and umpteen commitments to meet every day, then reaching a target like this might not be possible. Stephen King, a writer who I greatly admire, says, in his biography “On Writing”, that he writes every single day of his life. Which is all very well for Stephen King, because that’s all he does. I know that’s not all I do, and I bet it’s not all you do, either.

I have found a better solution to be something like this:

Continue reading