Write Once, Then Link

If I’ve got something to say, I write it and then link to that post: Write Once, Then Link.

Follow this link if you want to read more about the thinking behind these posts. If you’re digging around and looking for the topics I’ve covered, you’ll find every page is categorized and tagged with either or both person tags and content tags.

If you’re unsure how this tagging can help you, then read this article.

last updated: 31 March 2019

The Maltese Falcon is seemingly a chase for a valuable statue, but when looked at through the lens of five questions the story can be seen as a quest for justice.

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...continue reading: The Maltese Falcon: Five Questions

last updated: 29 March 2019

On first sight, Chinatown feels like a story about political corruption, corporate greed, and financial shenanigans, but as the story develops it becomes far more about the exercise of personal power. By asking five questions we can get to the central core of the story.

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...continue reading: Chinatown: Five Questions

last updated: 28 March 2019

Crime fiction is wide-ranging genre with many subgenres. The genre can encompass “cops and robbers”, cozies, whodunnits, and beyond to serial killers and psychological thrillers. But the genre can also be a lens through which to view society and to consider social issues.

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Category: writing
Tags: genre   crime fiction  

...continue reading: Crime Fiction as Social Commentary

last updated: 22 March 2019

There’s a new Netflix documentary: The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The title tells you what you’re going to get. Let me tell you a bit about it before you decide whether to watch.

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Category: books, tv, and movies
People: Madeleine McCann  

...continue reading: The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann

last updated: 17 March 2019

When I started writing the Leathan Wilkey series, beyond telling the stories, I was interested to look at two aspects of modern life: first, how an individual survives without many comparatively modern items that we now take for granted, and second, how we ascribe value in our day-to-day lives.

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Category: background
People: Leathan Wilkey  
Tags: barter   currency   digital footprint  

...continue reading: Currency and Value

last updated: 10 March 2019

In Tattoo Your Name on My Heart Boniface finds himself the Surrey Hills. If you want archetypal gentle rolling English hills, near London, then take a look.

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...continue reading: Surrey Hills

last updated: 9 March 2019

Some of the key scenes in Tattoo Your Name on My Heart are set in the old church at Albury. Let me show you round the location that provided the inspiration.

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Category: background
People: Boniface   Augustus Pugin  
Tags: Tattoo Your Name on My Heart  

...continue reading: Albury Old Church

last updated: 27 February 2019

Where Eagles Dare could be mistaken for a straightforward World War II action/adventure movie. Scratch below the surface—and ask five questions—and it’s an espionage piece, looking at who can be trusted, and how you flush out the bad guys.

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...continue reading: Where Eagles Dare: Five Questions

last updated: 9 February 2019

With his latest book, The Fox, Frederick Forsyth jumps into the world of offensive cyber war. But is the book worth a read?

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Category: books, tv, and movies
People: Frederick Forsyth  
Tags: The Fox  

...continue reading: The Fox by Frederick Forsyth

last updated: 31 January 2019

Many authors approach working with editors from the wrong direction looking to the downsides and not to the benefits that a healthy partnership can bring. Perhaps I can suggest a different way to approach working with an editor.

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Category: writing
Tags: editor  

...continue reading: Working with an Editor

last updated: 27 January 2019

Devil in a Blue Dress was the first novel by Walter Mosley and features Easy Rawlins, an African American World War II veteran. It is a noir masterpiece pulling together threads of race, friendship and betrayal, and political corruption in the context of post-war America.

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...continue reading: Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley

last updated: 26 January 2019

Walter Mosley’s novel Devil in a Blue Dress is a noir masterpiece pulling together threads of race, friendship and betrayal, and political corruption in the context of post-war America. Read the book, then watch the movie—and watch the movie for the electric portrayal of Mouse by Don Cheadle.

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...continue reading: Devil in a Blue Dress: the movie

last updated: 24 January 2019

Macbeth is one of William Shakespeare’s best known plays. Traditionally, it is viewed as a tragedy, but it could be viewed as a crime story and the interrogated with five questions.

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Category: story
People: Macbeth   William Shakespeare  
Tags: five questions   crime fiction  

...continue reading: Five Questions: Macbeth

last updated: 22 January 2019

Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley introduces Easy Rawlins, an African American World War II veteran who has just lost his job and needs money to pay his mortgage. By asking five questions we can get to the heart of the story.

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Category: story
People: Walter Mosley   Easy Rawlins  
Tags: Devil in a Blue Dress   five questions  

...continue reading: Five Questions: Devil in a Blue Dress

last updated: 10 January 2019

I’m an author which means I spend much of my day editing digital files. As I write, in practice what I’m doing is committing my thoughts to digital files. If my files get lost or damaged, then my work is lost, and so over time I’ve adopted processes to minimize the risk of loss. In developing these processes, my aim has been not simply to be able to recover lost work, but to also ensure I can recover that work without any delay so I can keep working without pause. This is my process.

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Category: tools
Tags: File History   Time Machine   Backblaze   Crashplan   Google Drive   OneDrive  

...continue reading: Back Up Process

last updated: 7 January 2019

The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth was published in 1971. The subsequent movie based on the novel was released in 1973. In the (nearly) fifty years since these releases many have tried to emulate both, but few have bettered the originals. If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, you should rectify that immediately. And if you have read/watched, you’ll understand why both are worth revisiting.

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...continue reading: The Day of the Jackal

last updated: 5 January 2019

The Day of the Jackal is a story about a failed assassination attempt. Five questions can explain the central premise on which the story is built.

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Category: story
People: Frederick Forsyth   Claude Lebel  
Tags: The Day of the Jackal   five questions  

...continue reading: Five Questions: The Day of the Jackal

last updated: 3 December 2018

Behind every book, and woven into every story, is a mix of ideas and influences. If you want to know more about the story behind the story in my books—the ideas, the influences, the characters, the real world events—then start here.

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Category: background

...continue reading: Behind Every Story

last updated: 1 December 2018

Many people have never heard of the singer-songwriter John Martyn. Let me give you a quick introduction.

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Category: music
People: John Martyn  
Tags: May You Never   Sweet Little Mystery  

...continue reading: John Martyn

last updated: 21 November 2018

I outline my stories before I begin writing and as part of that process I outline each scene. I have a simple template to put some structure around my thoughts for each scene and to ensure I hit the key points. This note includes my starting point template for scene outlining.

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Category: story
Tags: outline   scene  

...continue reading: Scene Outline: Starting Point