It’s been just over a month since I last wrote this diary and the truth is, there’s not very much to write about. Apart from being allowed to leave the house once a day for a spot of exercise, I’ve been inside trying to write. However, my spirits were lifted a little when I watched Robert Harris being interviewed on TV this morning and his feelings about the situation mirror mine. Yes, as writers we spend a lot of time hunched over a laptop making up stories on our own. BUT the thing that keeps us sane and motivated is the knowledge that life is happening around us and is just waiting for us to leave our desks and join in. Perhaps that’s why writers enjoy socialising so much (something confirmed by the atmosphere at the bar during crime festivals). I’m really missing meeting readers at libraries and book shops.

Something else that occurred to me is that writers need to get out and about for inspiration. Gone are the overheard conversations, the interesting tales attached to places we visit. It’s a good job I began Wesley Peterson’s next case before all this happened. However, it’s rather uncanny that the book I’m working on at the moment (started in January) features someone who is locked away from the world (and there is also a revelation about Wesley himself that some of you might find surprising). I’d been toying with the theme of someone forced into isolation for some time – how was I to know that it would happen in the real world? Hopefully, by the time this book (working title The Butterfly Cage) is published in August 2021 Covid 19 will be a distant memory. I just hope nobody thinks I’ve jumped on a lockdown bandwagon – honestly, the idea came to me long before it was even heard of.

The Burial Circle is still doing well and it’s lovely to hear how many people have enjoyed it. I’ve just completed the copy edit of the third book in my Albert Lincoln Trilogy, The House of the Hanged woman, which is out in November – just in time for Christmas. The other bit of good news is that my first three Wesley books, The Merchant’s House, The Armada Boy and An Unhallowed Grave are being reissued this summer with lovely new covers. Do watch this space for more details.


Recently I recorded a short video for the Crime Readers’ Association about my writing place. I’m not sure when it will be issued yet but do look out for it. It not only features my office but my writing shed – with the lovely weather we’ve been having recently I’ve been in my shed a lot, enjoying the scent of lilac as I ‘commute’ down the garden.

Take care everyone and happy reading!