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Book Week Scotland talks announced

Best-selling crime novelist John Dean will help library-goers in Dumfries and Galloway to celebrate Book Week Scotland with a talk looking at the conversation between writer and reader.

The theme of Book Week Scotland this year is Blether and John will look at how you can’t always trust the writer to tell the truth!

He will give talks at: Tuesday 19th November – Dalry Library 11.00am

Thursday 21st November – Kirkcudbright Library 2.00pm

Both…

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Added by John Dean on October 14, 2019 at 9:38 — No Comments

Blizzard faces up to conflict

Time and time again in my writing, I come back to the theme of conflict., It is what makes fiction work.

But why is it important? Because stories need things to happen and that usually comes out of conflict - characters argue, fight, feud etc. It is through seeing characters in conflict that we see them at their truest, when their guard is…

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Added by John Dean on October 12, 2019 at 19:30 — No Comments

The Long Dead tops 60 reviews

The Long Dead (The Book Folks), a DCI Blizzard mystery set in the world of archaeologists and wartime  memories, has now topped 60 reviews on Amazon and it's held steady at four stars. You can find out more at…

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Added by John Dean on October 10, 2019 at 9:53 — No Comments

Hey, I've been there!

What makes for good writing? Well, I think that good writing works because it triggers responses in its readers. The best writers get into the head of their readers (it is the theme of a creative writing course I am due to deliver in Kirkudbright, starting in a few days, and a ghost fiction workshop I am due to deliver in a haunted Scottish castle on Halloween).

I think writing works best when readers say ‘I have been in that situation, ‘I know someone like that’, ‘what a terrible…

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Added by John Dean on October 10, 2019 at 9:46 — No Comments

In praise of the little people

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 warrant names: the servant who brought the drinks; the hotel maid who cleaned the room, the police officer who drove the car and so on.

They deserve attention, though, because, although the reader isn’t supposed to…

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Added by John Dean on October 4, 2019 at 14:30 — No Comments

Blizzard on the up!

The latest DCI John Blizzard mystery, the seventh in the series published by The Book Folks, is up to 42 in the British Detective Stories section of Amazon Kindle.

In A Flicker in the Night, a spate of murderous arson attacks evokes bitter memories for stalwart detective John Blizzard.

It was a defining moment in DCI John Blizzard’s…

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Added by John Dean on October 4, 2019 at 9:30 — No Comments

Keeping secrets

I am writing the latest DCI Jack Harris crime novel and, although I plotted it pretty carefully in advance, the characters are doing a lot of the work for me as I write, throwing up questions and hinting at secrets.

It reminded me how important secrets are to a crime writer. It is crucial that your characters are hiding things. They may reveal their secrets to the reader but it can be a very effective storytelling tool if the investigators are in the dark until the story comes to its…

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Added by John Dean on October 2, 2019 at 15:48 — No Comments

Course dates are announced

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

Writing Course with Author John Dean - October 18-December 6

Kirkudbright Galleries, Kirkudbright, Dumfries and Galloway

The course will examine ways in which prose writers, be it those creating short stories or…

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Added by John Dean on September 27, 2019 at 14:30 — No Comments

Bookings come in for ghost fiction workshop

Bookings are starting to come from authors after Buittle Castle and best-selling novelist John Dean teamed up to run a workshop on how to write…

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Added by John Dean on September 19, 2019 at 10:08 — No Comments

Hashtag onejob

I often tell my creative writing students to listen to the characters they create, to be alive to what they are saying.

To illustrate the point, I refer to the story of a crime writer who I taught a few years ago and who created a brilliantly-drawn character. When she had finished reading out the chapter in which this new character featured, she revealed that it was only a minor character and that the girl would never appear again.

I argued that the character had so grabbed her…

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Added by John Dean on September 10, 2019 at 14:32 — No Comments

Drawing on reality to shape fiction

I am currently working on the latest DCI Jack Harris novel and already, 11,000 words in, I am creating scenes full of raw emotion and human passions ranging from rage to grief.

Now, I have not experienced all the situations I depict but I’ve gone through a lot of scenarios that were similar. For me, the line between real life and fiction is an…

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Added by John Dean on September 3, 2019 at 10:43 — No Comments

A Flicker in the Night now out in paperback

Delighted to announce that the DCI Blizzard mystery A Flicker in the Night (The Book Folks) is now out in paperback as well as e-book format

You can buy it at…

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Added by John Dean on September 2, 2019 at 9:34 — No Comments

Authors given chance to write a Halloween ghost story in a haunted castle

Buittle Castle and best-selling novelist John Dean have teamed up to run a workshop on how to write a ghost story in the spooky surroundings of the Medieval Tower House near Dalbeattie, Dumfries and Galloway.

The event, which will take place between 3-8pm on Halloween, Thursday October 31, 2019, will help writers to tap into their reader’s…

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Added by John Dean on August 29, 2019 at 9:36 — No Comments

Welcome to my world

 

As a writer, I am always inspired by a sense of place. Whether it be a gloomy city or a stunning hillside, a glass-strewn council estate or a majestic waterfall, something about my surroundings repeatedly triggers ideas. It’s been the theme of a series of creative writing workshops I have recently been delivering.

Let…

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Added by John Dean on August 27, 2019 at 15:04 — No Comments

Best-selling author announces 2020 writing workshop dates

Best-selling crime novelist John Dean has announced the 2020 dates for weekend writing workshops at his home near Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway.

John, author of 18 novels and currently published by London-based The Book Folks, is the creator of the popular DCI John Blizzard and DCI Jack Harris series.

He will run two courses, based around sense of place and the mechanics of storytelling,  from his 19th Century home set in rolling countryside on the weekends…

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Added by John Dean on August 27, 2019 at 11:47 — No Comments

Go on, keep moving

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Added by John Dean on August 21, 2019 at 10:27 — No Comments

New DCI John Blizzard title is published

The latest DCI John Blizzard is out, the seventh in the series published by The Book Folks.

In A Flicker in the Night, a spate of murderous arson attacks evokes bitter memories for stalwart detective John Blizzard…It was a defining moment in DCI John Blizzard’s early career when he caught a notorious arsonist on a killing spree.

Yet…

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Added by John Dean on August 20, 2019 at 9:32 — No Comments

When you cannot trust what you are being told

I am currently teaching a creative writing course, part of which focuses on the unreliable narrator, a character who tells a story that the reader cannot take at face value.…

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Added by John Dean on August 15, 2019 at 9:40 — No Comments

Detail, detail, detail...

What turns a story from good to very good? For me, it is that extra something. That attention to detail on the part of the author.

Whether it be the description of a place that makes you shiver because you feel the chill air coming off the hills, or a portrayal of a character so…

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Added by John Dean on August 12, 2019 at 13:41 — No Comments

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Chance for Dumfries and Galloway writers to get spooky with ghost story workshop

Bookings are starting to come from authors after Buittle Castle and best-selling novelist John Dean teamed up to run a workshop on how to write a ghost story in the spooky surroundings of the Medieval Tower House near Dalbeattie, Dumfries and Galloway. However, there are plenty more places available.The event, which will take place between 3-8pm on Halloween, Thursday…See More
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Book Week Scotland talks announced

Best-selling crime novelist John Dean will help library-goers in Dumfries and Galloway to celebrate Book Week Scotland with a talk looking at the conversation between writer and reader.The theme of Book Week Scotland this year is Blether and John will look at how you can’t always trust the writer to tell the truth!He will give talks at: Tuesday 19th November – Dalry Library 11.00amThursday 21st November – Kirkcudbright Library 2.00pmBoth events are free but places must booked from Kirkcudbright…See More
yesterday
John Dean shared their blog post on Facebook
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John Dean posted a blog post

Blizzard faces up to conflict

Time and time again in my writing, I come back to the theme of conflict., It is what makes fiction work.But why is it important? Because stories need things to happen and that usually comes out of conflict - characters argue, fight, feud etc. It is through seeing characters in conflict that we see them at their truest, when their guard is down, when they are fighting…See More
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John Dean posted a blog post

Keeping secrets

I am writing the latest DCI Jack Harris crime novel and, although I plotted it pretty carefully in advance, the characters are doing a lot of the work for me as I write, throwing up questions and hinting at secrets.It reminded me how important secrets are to a crime writer. It is crucial that your characters are hiding things. They may reveal their secrets to the reader but it can be a very effective storytelling tool if the investigators are in the dark until the story comes to its dramatic…See More
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