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ABOUT



I have written about 45 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.

From  2004 to 2006, I edited The Author, the quarterly journal of the Society of Authors, and I continue to write The Author's regular 'Grub Street' column. I was the Spectator's crime fiction reviewer for ten years and now contribute reviews to The Times, the Spectator 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.

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.

Because of RSI, I sometimes dictate, which involves me prowling up and down my workroom and talking to myself in strange voices. In fine weather, I sit under an apple tree and talk to myself in the fresh air instead. On the other hand, sometimes I use a notebook, and sometimes a computer.

One of the few things I know for certain about writing fiction is that there is no one way to write a novel.