Crime Author Pauline Rowson on the business of writing crime fiction and the DI Andy Horton Marine Mystery Series

I've often been asked whether I get writer's block, i.e. staring at a blank page on my computer screen without any idea of what to write and whilst I have not suffered this there are days when the words flow and the inspiration seems to come from an unknown source within me, and there also days when it's a struggle to find the right words and know how to advance the plot. On the latter occasions there are three ways I deal with this.

One is to keep on writing, bashing anything out on the keyboard even though I know it will be rubbish because often at some stage in the process it will start to improve and inspiration will come to me. Another technique is for me to pick up my knitting needles and knit, allowing my mind to wander and mull over the characters and the plot, until something strikes me and refreshed I can go back to the keyboard. The third is a similar method but this time I put on the walking boots and strike out. Physical exercise helps to stimulate the little grey cells and it's also good to get away from the computer for a while.

I've been working on the next in the DI Andy Horton series, (number eight, as yet untitled)) and have finished the first draft. This now needs a great deal more work on it before I am anywhere near satisfied with it, but it is slowly but surely coming together. Over the next three months I will be revising the plot and sub plots, developing the characters and making sure that everything hangs together, before going through it again and checking the structure, the phrases, the words.

Meanwhile, at some stage this autumn A Killing Coast (number seven in the DI Horton series) will be returned to me by my editor for checking the copy edits and proof reading. It is some time now since I read it, I only hope I don't want to change it all! Until then it's on with DI Andy Horton number eight.

A Killing Coast is scheduled for publication in hardback by Severn House in January 2012.

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