I have written nearly 50 books - mainly crime novels and historical novels. The Roth Trilogy was televised (as Fallen Angel), and two other books have been number one bestsellers.
Click Awards and Reviews for - well, awards and reviews and so on. I’m particularly delighted to have been awarded the CWA Diamond Dagger for excellence in crime writing, and to be the unique (if immodest) triple winner of the CWA Historical Dagger. When The King's Evil won the Gold Crown of the Historical Writers Association, awarded for best novel of the year, the boundaries between the crime novel and the historical novel became even more blurred in my mind than they already were.
From two years, I edited The Author, the quarterly journal of the Society of Authors. I also wrote a regular 'Grub Street' column for the journal for 18 years. I was the Spectator's crime fiction reviewer for ten years and occasionally contribute reviews to The Times, the Spectator, the Guardian and elsewhere.
I have served on the Management Committee of the Society of Authors and on the committee of the Crime Writers Association. I initiated what became the CWA’s Debut Dagger scheme, and administered it for its first two years. I have helped to judge a number of literary prizes for the Crime Writers Association, the Historical Writers Association and others.
I also do events for festivals, bookshops and libraries in the UK and abroad. I sometimes teach writing courses for the Arvon Foundation, Moniack Mhor (Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre) and Cheltenham Festival of Literature, etc.
Before I was an author
I was a reader…
I grew up in the Fen country of East Anglia. I went to university at Emmanuel College Cambridge and University College London. You can find glimpses of my formative moments here.
When I was a useful member of society, I worked as a boatbuilder, wages clerk, teacher, librarian, labourer and freelance publisher's editor. Since 1981, I have been a full-time writer and, since 1982, I have lived in the Forest of Dean on the borders of England and Wales.
Advice to Writers
One of the few things I know for certain about writing fiction is that there is no one way to write a novel. But it is ALWAYS a long, difficult, and frustrating business. It is an infinitely mysterious process too. Be warned.