John Dean Crime Novelist is a social network


I give talks on crime writing to organisations ranging from library reading groups and writing groups to men's forums. I deliver creative writing workshops at a venues, including arts centres and libraries. I can be contacted on 01325 463813


Darlington for Culture 2 Replies

I am Media Officer of arts organisation Darlington for Culture. Go to to find out more. Continue

Started by John Dean. Last reply by John Dean Apr 28, 2011.


Aside from my arts work, I am a freelance journalist - if you want to find out more, visit (no www)

Started by John Dean Feb 18, 2011.


Blog Posts

Mentoring for writers

Novelist John Dean is running an online mentoring and writing workshops programme for aspiring authors.

John, who is based in Darlington, in County Durham, North East England, and has had twelve crime novels published by Robert Hale, of London, is a co-director of Inscribe Media Limited, which is running the programmes.

John, who also runs creative writing courses in Darlington, said: “Writing can be a lonely pastime and our programmes help…


Posted by John Dean on September 28, 2017 at 10:09

Engaging the reader

What makes good writing? I think good writing is good writing because it triggers responses in its readers. Readers say ‘I have been in that situation, ‘I know someone like that’, ‘what a terrible thing to be faced with’ etc etc.

If readers feel like that, it means that they are being drawn into the story. They stand next to your characters, they fear for what is about to happen, they simply must know what is on the next page.

If a reader does…


Posted by John Dean on September 28, 2017 at 10:06

Building momentum from the off

Here’s some more thoughts on starting stories. The cardinal rule is to include most of the individual elements that make up the story, early on. An opening paragraph should have a distinctive voice, a point of view, a rudimentary plot and some hint of characterisation.

The best way to begin is at the first moment of something interesting happening, which is more likely to grab the reader‘s interest.

If you feel compelled to begin a story with…


Posted by John Dean on September 21, 2017 at 11:21

Creating characters

A lot of my teaching focuses on characters (they are at the heart of my classes, they are, after all, our major tools as writers).

So how do you create them? Here’s some thoughts:

* Maybe base them on people you know but beware of the law. Don’t lift your local vicar wholesale and turn him/her into a cold-blooded killer! Make your characters composites of several people

*Describe their physical characteristics You can do it one bit or slot…


Posted by John Dean on September 21, 2017 at 11:14

John Dean's crime writing career

Welcome to my site. I am a crime novelist who was published by Robert Hale between 2004 and 2014 and now by The Book Folks

The titles are:


A Flicker in the Night

No Age to Die

The Vengeance Man

The Latch Man

The Long Dead

Strange Little Girl (all John Blizzard stories)

The Dead Hill (The first Jack Harris mystery)

The Railway Man (John Blizzard)

To Die Alone (Jack Harris)

The Secrets Man (John Blizzard) 

To Honour The Dead (Jack Harris) 

A Breach of Trust (John Blizzard)

The Book Folks

Dead Hill eb pb

The VIxen's Scream eb pb

To Die Alone eb pb

The Long Dead eb 

Dead Hill

The Vixen’s Scream

To Die Alone

The Long Dead




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