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: 12 June 2018

For every book I have written there’s always something special for me as the author. Sometimes I’ve just tried something different and it worked and at other times it can be a character that I feel was realized especially well. Whatever the book, if it’s been published, you can be sure that in addition to me being happy with the story there are some things in there that I will like that you might not notice.

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Category: writing
People: Clementina  
Tags: High Five   Bag Man   Paris  

...continue reading: A Certain Satisfaction

last updated: 12 June 2018

It’s very easy to come up with a situation for a novel. It’s much harder to come up with a story. People often confuse the two and the difference is significant.

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Category: story
Tags: Bag Man   conflict   stakes   ghostwriter   situation   protagonist   antagonist  

...continue reading: Situation vs Story

last updated: 8 May 2018

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry on 19 May 2018. It may seem inopportune to suggest that Miss Markle could become the Queen of England, but once you understand the rules around royal succession, you will see that it is quite possible that an American born non-royal divorcee could become Queen—it just takes one death at a certain time.

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...continue reading: Meghan Markle, Queen of England

last updated: 8 May 2018

I am a British subject and my language is English, but let me suggest a heresy: American English spellings (and grammatical practices) should be preferred over British spellings.

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Category: writing
Tags: British English   American English  

...continue reading: Spelling: UK vs US

last updated: 10 April 2018

When I was writing Tattoo Your Name on My Heart, I had a need for a minor character—a guitarist who plays in the fictional rock band Prickle. Luca Parzani is that character. In crafting Luca, I took inspiration from real life.

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Category: background
People: Michael Schenker   Boniface  
Tags: Tattoo Your Name on My Heart   UFO   guitar  

...continue reading: Needing a Guitarist

last updated: 10 April 2018

I’m going to take a controversial line for someone who makes his living by scribbling down words: Spelling doesn’t matter. At least, it doesn’t matter as much as people make out and it doesn’t matter for the reasons they think it does. What matters is the ability to be understood.

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Category: writing
Tags: spelling   British English   American English  

...continue reading: No One Cares If You Can’t Spell

last updated: 13 February 2018

In 2010, when I first started outlining The Murder of Henry VIII, I had an idea for a 500-year-old conspiracy theory about the murder of Henry VIII. The notion of the Russians trying to influence an election just didn’t seem that much of a stretch. The scenario felt plausible to me. In fact, it wasn’t simply plausible—it was something that I expected to happen (assuming it hadn’t already happened). Events since then suggest that my fiction is quite plausible.

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...continue reading: Interference in Foreign Politics

last updated: 13 February 2018

John le Carr√©’s 1974 novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was adapted to be a movie and tv miniseries. Seek out all three.

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...continue reading: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

last updated: 9 January 2018

From time to time I get questions about bad language in my books. There are variants on this question, but it mostly boils down to: will I be offended by something in one of your books, Simon? In short, maybe, but I hope not. Or at least, I hope you will agree that any offense reflects what the character feels and is justified within the context.

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Category: writing
Tags: bad language   offense   Ofcom  

...continue reading: Causing Offense

last updated: 14 November 2017

I’ve been watching Comrade Detective. It’s fun…at least the idea is amusing, but I’m not sure it quite sustains over the full series.

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...continue reading: Comrade Detective

last updated: 10 October 2017

Long before I wrote the first Leathan Wilkey book—literally years before I wrote the book—I had the notion of a character who was later christened Leathan. I had an idea of someone who was very human. A man who connected with people on a very human level. But a man, for whom life was difficult because of his specific circumstances.

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Category: background
People: Leathan Wilkey  
Tags: Diplomatic Baggage  

...continue reading: Developing Leathan Wilkey

last updated: 11 July 2017

On the face of it, Sexy Beast is a gangster movie. In truth, it’s a love story. Sure, there are all the elements of a British gangster movie, a retired criminal living in Spain who is drawn back for one last job—a safe deposit vault heist. But dig deeper to the heart of the film and there is a love story. Gal Dove loves his wife Deedee, and is only forced back to take the job to protect Deedee.

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Category: books, tv, and movies
People: Ray Winstone   Ben Kingsley  
Tags: Sexy Beast  

...continue reading: Sexy Beast

last updated: 11 July 2017

In Pollute the Poor Boniface plays Sylvia, a tune from 1972 by the Dutch prog rock band Focus. The track is an instrumental with a strong, quite joyful melody, but there’s a mournful undercurrent. It’s one of those tunes that speaks without using words—and, of course, since there are no words, you can imprint your own interpretation.

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Category: music
People: Jan Akkerman   Boniface  
Tags: Focus   Sylvia   Pollute the Poor  

...continue reading: Sylvia

last updated: 13 June 2017

I was asked the question: Do you wear anything when you’re writing? The question was less about whether I wear clothes, or otherwise, and more about whether I wear anything in particular.

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Category: writing
Tags: clothes   cat  

...continue reading: Do You Wear Anything?

last updated: 13 June 2017

Did you know that leather floors are a thing? Instead of carpets, tiles, or wood to cover the floor, you can have leather. Yeah, I didn’t know either.

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Category: background
People: Clementina   Leathan Wilkey  
Tags: leather floors  

...continue reading: Leather Floors

last updated: 13 June 2017

If you’ve ever wondered about the order of the Leathan Wilkey series of novels…

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Category: background
People: Leathan Wilkey  

...continue reading: The Leathan Series: Order of Reading/Writing

last updated: 9 May 2017

If you haven’t watched BrainDead, can I suggest you do: it’s hugely entertaining.

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...continue reading: BrainDead

last updated: 9 May 2017

I set my second series—the Leathan Wilkey series—in Paris. I knew I wanted to set the books in a different city, I just wasn’t sure which city. All I really knew was that Leathan wasn’t going to be in London. And much of the reason for this choice is that, despite the many similarities, Paris is very different to London.

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Category: background
People: Leathan Wilkey  
Tags: Paris   London  

...continue reading: Why Paris

last updated: 11 April 2017

The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow is a great book. If you haven’t read it, fix that and read it now.

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...continue reading: The Power of the Dog

last updated: 14 March 2017

It’s approaching ten years since then nearly-four-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared while on a family holiday. Yet somehow, despite there being so few facts—or maybe because there are so few facts—ten years after she was last seen, the disappearance of Madeleine is perhaps the mystery of our time.

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Category: current affairs
People: Madeleine McCann  

...continue reading: Madeleine McCann: 10 Years Later