All Blog Posts (258)

The Devil’s in the detail

I was writing the other day and part of the novel deals with a character dying from a serious bronchial illness, fighting for every breath.

My detectives go to see him only to discover that, since they last met him, he has died. I found myself writing (slightly changed as the original contained crucial plot information) “Five minutes later, the officers were seated in the living room, acutely aware that his chair was empty and that the oxygen cannister had gone. They could see the…

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Added by John Dean on January 17, 2019 at 11:01 — No Comments

Death List out in paperback

Delighted to say that the new Blizzard crime novel is now out in paperback as well as e-book…

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Added by John Dean on January 15, 2019 at 11:47 — No Comments

Special offer

Delighted to say that the Jack Harris mystery To Honour the Dead, set in the world of war veterans, is on special offer at the moment …

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Added by John Dean on January 14, 2019 at 13:34 — No Comments

Building tension in your writing

I have just written this for aspiring writers who joined the Crime Readers’ Association (if you not done so, I heartily recommend it, more on https://thecra.co.uk/) and thought  it might interest.

 

As part of my work, I am often hired to assess aspiring authors’ manuscripts, including for the Crime Writers’ Association, and one of the recurring themes that crops up in the feedback that I give is how to build tension.

Tension is…

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Added by John Dean on January 10, 2019 at 10:17 — No Comments

Weekend writing courses to run

Best-selling crime novelist John Dean is to run two weekend courses for aspiring writers at his home near Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway.

John, author of 17 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 courses based around sense of…

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Added by John Dean on January 9, 2019 at 11:57 — No Comments

Number one!

I am delighted to say that the DCI Jack Harris novel Dead Hill (Book Folks) reached  No 1 in the Amazon Kindle organised crime chart!…

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Added by John Dean on January 8, 2019 at 12:30 — No Comments

Blizzard is back!

The latest  DCI John Blizzard novel, Death List, is out and available from…

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Added by John Dean on January 5, 2019 at 9:12 — No Comments

Creative writing class at Galleries

I am delighted to be again leading this popular course:…

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Added by John Dean on December 20, 2018 at 9:15 — No Comments

Selkirk Speakers Club

Really excited to have been invited to be a guest at the Selkirk Speakers Club with fellow crime writer Ian Patrick. The event happens at the Selkirk Arms in Kirkudbright, Dumfries and Galloway, on the evening of Thursday February 7, 2019 at 7pm.

The format is a buffet supper…

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Added by John Dean on December 19, 2018 at 9:42 — No Comments

Fitting the pieces of the jigsaw together

I love it when a novel starts to assume a life of its own. I am 32,000 words into the new DCI Jack Harris novel and things are slotting together nicely now.

That was not always the case. Writing is like a jigsaw and, whereas at the beginning of the process, the author has lots of fragments floating around, in time they start to make sense.

Relationships between characters start to come together, plotlines link up, lines of dialogue find their home. That is what is happening at…

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Added by John Dean on December 18, 2018 at 11:46 — No Comments

Thou Shalt Be Reviewed



You can check out the reviews of the latest Jack Harris novel Thou Shalt Kill (The Book Folks) at …

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Added by John Dean on December 17, 2018 at 13:44 — No Comments

'Come on, dear reader, come with me'

I recently assessed a manuscript for an aspiring writer and was delighted to discover that they understood the importance of a good beginning to a novel.

The opening chapter got the book off to a cracking start. Opening…

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Added by John Dean on December 17, 2018 at 11:28 — No Comments

Keeping control of the back story



One of the biggest lessons I have had to learn as a novelist is how to create pace. It’s a lesson about which I continually remind myself and which I find myself often writing about when I carry out assessments of…

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Added by John Dean on December 12, 2018 at 9:30 — No Comments

Creating tension in crime fiction

As part of my work, I am often hired to assess aspiring authors’ manuscripts and one of the recurring themes that crops up in the reports that I write is how to build tension.

Tension is crucial in crime fiction but…

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Added by John Dean on December 10, 2018 at 10:07 — No Comments

Good reviews





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Added by John Dean on December 10, 2018 at 10:00 — No Comments

How landscape inspire writers

As I have said in previous blogs, I have always believed that a writer is influenced to some degree by where they live and work. I know it is a gross generalisation but I am sure that a writer writing in a dark, cold landscape produces different fiction than one in a bright sunny one.…

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Added by John Dean on December 8, 2018 at 19:00 — No Comments

Triggering ideas

I am preparing a writing workshop which focuses on ideas and which will attempt to spark some ideas for stories from those present in the room.

As anyone…

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Added by John Dean on December 8, 2018 at 15:34 — No Comments

Chart success





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Added by John Dean on December 7, 2018 at 9:00 — No Comments

When ideas find you



As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I’ve been doing a lot of teaching on the idea of ideas lately and among the quotes I came across during my research was “People always want to know: Where do I get my ideas? They're everywhere. I'm inspired by people and things around me” from Gwendolyn Brooks, an American poet.

That is certainly true…

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Added by John Dean on December 5, 2018 at 14:19 — No Comments

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The Devil’s in the detail

I was writing the other day and part of the novel deals with a character dying from a serious bronchial illness, fighting for every breath.My detectives go to see him only to discover that, since they last met him, he has died. I found myself writing (slightly changed as the original contained crucial plot information) “Five minutes later, the officers were seated in the living room, acutely aware that his chair was empty and that the oxygen cannister had gone. They could see the ring on the…See More
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John Dean posted a blog post

Number one!

I am delighted to say that the DCI Jack Harris novel Dead Hill (Book Folks) reached  No 1 in the Amazon Kindle organised crime chart!…See More
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John Dean posted a blog post

Blizzard is back!

The latest  DCI John Blizzard novel, Death List, is out and available from…See More
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