All Blog Posts (357)

Giving creativity a chance

You may know from my blogs, that, as a writer, I am always inspired by a sense of place, and living on a windswept hillside in southern Scotland certainly inspires me greatly.…

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Added by John Dean on June 17, 2019 at 14:35 — No Comments

Places left on weekend courses

There are still places left on two weekend summer courses for writers run by best-selling crime novelist John Dean at his home near Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway.…

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Added by John Dean on June 17, 2019 at 13:37 — No Comments

Loadsa Blizzard

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Added by John Dean on June 6, 2019 at 11:38 — No Comments

When has a story been told?

One of the questions that I am occasionally asked in my creative writing classes is ‘how long should a novel be?’ It’s a question that sometimes crops up in reviews as well, with some readers saying that they felt that a story was too short and wondering why the author did not write more?…

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Added by John Dean on June 6, 2019 at 10:49 — No Comments

Unimportant? Moi?

Following on from my previous blogs on creating characters, a word about minor characters and the care you need to take when creating them.

But why, you may ask, spend unnecessary time on insignificant characters? Some may have roles so negligible that they won’t even get names:…

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Added by John Dean on June 4, 2019 at 14:56 — No Comments

On the up

Still selling well! A gruesome find leads DCI Jack Harris to reopen an investigation into an air crash. You can find out more at…

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Added by John Dean on May 30, 2019 at 14:52 — No Comments

So where do your characters come from?

According to the great American writer F Scott Fitzgerald, ‘Character is plot, plot is character’. He was right. It is through the interaction of characters with a variety of needs, situations and personalities that stories emerge and develop. But how do you create them? You have three choices.…

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Added by John Dean on May 30, 2019 at 11:07 — No Comments

The truth is in there somewhere

I recently gave a talk as part of Darlington Arts Festival, during National Crime Reading Month, in which I observed that crime writers offer a reflection of the world in which they live.

I have always believed that writing is a deeply personal pastime and you can see that in the…

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Added by John Dean on May 29, 2019 at 14:59 — No Comments

Summer holiday reading for crime fiction fans



Looking for some great crime fiction for your summer holidays? Then look no further and check out The Book Folks at…

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Added by John Dean on May 29, 2019 at 14:41 — No Comments

No wonder Blizzard's not sleeping!

A baby with bad guts, wife at the end of her tether, someone trying to kill him - no wonder John Blizzard is not sleeping!…

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Added by John Dean on May 29, 2019 at 11:30 — No Comments

Asking The Question right from the start

I make no apology for returning to one of my big themes for this blog because the subject is so important in any kind of writing. Getting the start right.…

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Added by John Dean on May 28, 2019 at 15:00 — No Comments

Blizzard box set

I am hard at work on the next DCI Blizzard mystery but if you need a hit of the curmudgeonly detective in the meantime the first three books published by The Book Folks can be enjoyed in a new box set at…

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Added by John Dean on May 28, 2019 at 12:06 — No Comments

The reader's right to voice an opinion

The subject of reviews of books is getting a lot of attention at the moment with the advent of social media and Amazon, where everyone has a voice and everyone can be a critic.

I receive a lot of reviews of my novels and, thankfully, they are overwhelmingly positive but from time…

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Added by John Dean on May 28, 2019 at 10:30 — No Comments

New writing group is created

I am delighted to be part of Scotland's newest writing group, working out of Kirkudbright in Dumfries and Galloway  - meet the Gallery Writers at …

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Added by John Dean on May 23, 2019 at 9:42 — No Comments

Gissa job!

I am preparing a new course and at the heart of it, as so often, will be the subject of characters.

Creating strong characters – not necessarily strong people but well defined characters – is crucial because you can create the finest landscapes, the…

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Added by John Dean on May 22, 2019 at 9:00 — No Comments

Summer course to run

I am delighted that the dates for the next creative writing course at Kirkudbright Galleries have been announced.

Writing Course with Author John Dean

July 19 @ 10:30 am - September 20 2019 @ 12:30 pm - £65 10 week block Kirkudbright Galleries, Kirkudbright, Dumfries and Galloway

The course will…

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Added by John Dean on May 15, 2019 at 11:30 — No Comments

A kind of reassurance

As some of you may know, I am a big supporter of the UK’s National Crime Reading Month, which runs throughout May.

Initiated by the Crime Writers' Association and its sister the Crime Readers Association, it is featuring events the length and breadth of the UK.

What has come home time and time again is the public's insatiable thirst for…

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Added by John Dean on May 9, 2019 at 15:27 — No Comments

Collection is published

The DCI Blizzard Murder Mysteries Books 1 to 3

A Collection containing the first three books in the DCI John Blizzard series of murder mysteries (The Book Folks) has been published in e-book format.

You can find out more and buy the book at…

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Added by John Dean on May 9, 2019 at 9:52 — No Comments

Questions worth asking

You may be aware that I run an online crime fiction course and one student writing a novel asked me a couple of questions about his main character, the protagonist. The answers may interest those writers who are…

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Added by John Dean on May 7, 2019 at 14:40 — No Comments

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Unimportant? Moi?

Following on from my previous blogs on creating characters, a word about minor characters and the care you need to take when creating them.But why, you may ask, spend unnecessary time on insignificant characters? Some may have roles so negligible that they won’t even get names: the servant who brought the drinks; the hotel maid who cleaned the room, the policeman who jumped out of the way of the speeding car and so on.They deserve care because, although the reader isn’t supposed to care much…See More
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