All Blog Posts (186)

Grabbing the reader from the start

However you start your story, the beginning should have The Question, something that hooks your reader, gives them a reason to read on to page 2. You need to grab them from those first…

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Added by John Dean on August 8, 2018 at 16:00 — No Comments

Time to get emotional

Emotion is something of which some writers are wary, preferring to produce work without revealing too much of themselves. However, for many other writers, there cannot be fiction without a sense of themselves in it.…

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Added by John Dean on August 8, 2018 at 16:00 — No Comments

Writing competition is launched

Are you a budding writer with an interest in the coast and the natural or historic environment? Or do you work with young people or adults who are interested in writing?…

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Added by John Dean on August 8, 2018 at 9:13 — No Comments

Weekend writing workshop – taking inspiration from your surroundings

Seeking inspiration for your writing? Fancy writing in a 160-year-old house on a hill? Looking to learn more about how writers draw inspiration from their surroundings? Like to find a peaceful corner of a garden to write (weather permitting!)? And all with delicious home-cooked meals?…

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Added by John Dean on August 6, 2018 at 9:34 — No Comments

Memories of redundancy which created a novel

The idea for my DCI John Blizzard novel A Breach of Trust, published by the Book Folks, grew through my experiences as a newspaper journalist in the eighties and nineties.

During that time, I reported on many business closures, from mines to factories, shipyards to shops, and witnessed the devastating effect that they had on people and communities.

As a newspaper man I myself worked at several titles which went through rounds of job cutting and each time strong emotions were…

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Added by John Dean on August 3, 2018 at 13:30 — No Comments

Triggering a response from your writing

Continuing my recurring theme of evoking reactions in your reader, I think that good writing is about triggers - words, phrases, images, places, sensations that reach deep into the reader’s mind.

That reaction will be based on something the reader has actually experienced, or maybe something that…

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Added by John Dean on August 2, 2018 at 10:12 — No Comments

When readers cannot trust what they are reading

I recently taught a creative writing course part of which focused 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 1, 2018 at 10:28 — No Comments

Writing with pace

As a writer, I have learned the hard way about the need to write with pace, through watching where my editors over the years have deleted text. Each time they do it, the experience improves me as a writer.

This comes to mind because I have just cut 1,300 words from the final draft of my latest novel. Only small cuts but they do so much to keep the story moving.

As a teacher, I have been in the same position as my editors, working with several writers over the years who create…

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Added by John Dean on July 31, 2018 at 14:02 — No Comments

The death of a street



I am proud to have edited Darlington-based Inkerman Writers’ latest anthology of short stories, Inkerman  Street, which based on the demolition…

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Added by John Dean on July 31, 2018 at 11:44 — No Comments

Dagger shortlists

The Crime Writers’ Association recently announced the shortlists for the prestigious annual Dagger awards for crime writing. You can find out if your favourite author was selected at …

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Added by John Dean on July 31, 2018 at 11:30 — No Comments

A good place to start







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,…

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Added by John Dean on July 27, 2018 at 14:00 — No Comments

A Breach of Trust is published

 

A Breach of Trust, the latest in the DCI Blizzard…

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Added by John Dean on July 25, 2018 at 14:40 — No Comments

Bringing characters to life in fiction

A recent review of The Railway Man on Amazon stated: “I really like the character of DCI Blizzard. The interaction with other colleagues and staff is very good. I like the humour in the books and often find myself laughing out loud. Blizzard has his faults and can be quite set on his ideas but I think…

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Added by John Dean on July 25, 2018 at 10:14 — No Comments

The power of conflict in fiction

Any crime writer – in fact, any writer - must deal sooner or later with conflict. Usually sooner.

Indeed, I have just finished the first draft of a novel in which a much-loved character is forced to question everything and…

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Added by John Dean on July 24, 2018 at 15:54 — No Comments

Need help with your crime fiction manuscript?

If you have a crime fiction manuscript and need some advice before submitting it to a publisher, agent or competition, why not check out the Crime Writers’ Associations’ Criminal Critiques initiative?…

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Added by John Dean on July 23, 2018 at 15:23 — No Comments

Writing crime fiction

Following the news that I am running an online crime fiction course , I thought it would be…

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Added by John Dean on July 23, 2018 at 13:00 — No Comments

Accolade for book festival

I am delighted that Wigtown Book Festival in Dumfries and Galloway has been named as Scotland’s top cultural event of the year just as preparations get under way for the 20th annual event in September.

The award was given as part of the Scottish Cultural Awards, described as the country’s Oscars, with the winners being announced at a major event in Glasgow.The awards are organised by the Sunday Herald in association with Edinburgh Napier University.

Adrian Turpin, artistic…

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Added by John Dean on July 18, 2018 at 13:00 — No Comments

Thinking of Dad

I’ve been thinking a lot about my Dad in recent days. I don’t know if it’s because his birthday was in June or because I have been doing some talks in libraries in…

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Added by John Dean on July 18, 2018 at 10:21 — No Comments

The thoughts of a master of his craft

Reading the thoughts of top writers is always interesting so it’s worth taking a look at an interview given by Michael Connelly, winner of  the Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger…

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Added by John Dean on July 18, 2018 at 9:58 — No Comments

A different take on a crime classic

Barack Obama as Sherlock Holmes, Joe Biden as Watson? Surely fake news? No, it’s the new book Hope Never Dies by Andrew…

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Added by John Dean on July 17, 2018 at 15:53 — No Comments

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John Dean posted blog posts
Aug 8
Jediah Krajcik is now a member of John Dean Crime Novelist
Aug 8
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Aug 8
John Dean replied to Deborah Kaback's discussion Blizzard series
"Hi Deborah Thanks for this. The hardbook versions of the early Blizzard books (including The Latch Man) were published by Hale but are no longer in print. My new publisher the Book Folks has re-published some of the original books (reworked for a…"
Aug 8
Deborah Kaback posted a discussion

Blizzard series

I have read a number of the Blizzard series on Kindle—Strange Littke Girl,The Railway Man, The Secrets Man and The Long Dead. Got The Latch Man from a third party seller on Amazon. Are there others in the series?
Aug 8
John Dean posted a blog post

Weekend writing workshop – taking inspiration from your surroundings

Seeking inspiration for your writing? Fancy writing in a 160-year-old house on a hill? Looking to learn more about how writers draw inspiration from their surroundings? Like to find a peaceful corner of a garden to write (weather permitting!)? And all with delicious home-cooked meals?Then a weekend course at Kettle Knowe near Castle Douglas is for you. Best-selling crime novelist and creative writing tutor John Dean is to run a creative writing workshop at the 19th Century house on the weekend…See More
Aug 6
John Dean posted a blog post

Memories of redundancy which created a novel

The idea for my DCI John Blizzard novel A Breach of Trust, published by the Book Folks, grew through my experiences as a newspaper journalist in the eighties and nineties.During that time, I reported on many business closures, from mines to factories, shipyards to shops, and witnessed the devastating effect that they had on people and communities.As a newspaper man I myself worked at several titles which went through rounds of job cutting and each time strong emotions were evoked in the…See More
Aug 3
John Dean posted blog posts
Aug 2
Alwyn Foden is now a member of John Dean Crime Novelist
Aug 1
John Dean posted blog posts
Jul 31
John Dean posted a blog post

A good place to start

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.Let me take you back a few years to a hillside in the North Pennines in an attempt to show you what I mean.I…See More
Jul 27
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Jul 17
John Dean commented on John Dean's blog post In search of an idea for a novel
"Hi Deborah Thank you for this. Yes, working on one now but the next one to come out will be the latest in the Blizzard series, which was finished earlier in the year Thank you for all your support John"
Jul 17

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