Aircraft Controls

The C Word for Writers

When you board a plane, you place yourself in the hands of the pilot. For the duration of the flight, you place your absolute trust in the pilot, handing over control. It’s the same with books. You are the pilot of your book, and it’s essential that the reader feels she is in safe hands […]

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OED

Words 101 : Ago

Grammar 101. AGO Reading and editing other people’s work, there are some issues that crop up over and over. Here’s one of my favourites: The word AGO means before now. It shouldn’t be used in the past tense. When King Charles I lost his head he had been crowned only 24 years ago. This is […]

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H Beck's map

Research sources for 1940s London

My latest WW2 thriller is now on pre-order at Amazon. It will launch on April 14. Researching for this book took me on a field trip to Lisbon, Portugal, a beautiful, historic city of hills and valleys, broad piazzas, ancient trams. Researching 1940s London, I discovered the first topological map of the London Underground, devised […]

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Missy Chin

A Stunning Writing Debut

It’s not often that I rave about a book, but this one is really special. When it comes to noir detective stories, there are some great authors: Elmore Leonard and Raymond Chandler spring to mind. Then there’s Hammett and Spillane and Robert B. Parker. When it comes to contemporary noir authors, there’s none better than […]

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phone

A Misunderstanding

In the seventies, I worked for a small pharmaceutical company in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. When the company was taken over by a much larger one, they moved me to head office, in London. We were living in Milton Keynes, the new city that grew from the village of Bletchley, and the company agreed to pay us […]

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