Friday, 22 May 2015

CrimeFest XV

So, CrimeFest was good. And by good, I mean very good. Phenomenal. In fact, I'd only change three things:

1. In these enlightened times, there's surely no place for 9am panels on Saturday mornings. It's not the Dark Ages, though it was truly humbling to see all those brave and beautiful people who'd risen early to attend, most of them considerably more awake than some of us on the panel. Suffice to say that I've never been much of a 9am Saturday morning person, and never less so than when that Saturday follows a Friday night in the CrimeFest bar.

2. Mention of the CrimeFest bar leads me neatly onto my second point. Why did nobody stop me? I'm older than I used to be, and should really drink accordingly. In future, don't hesitate, just stage an intervention.

3. Okay, serious point now… were there fewer readers attending this year? I know that Bristol has always been popular with reviewers / bloggers / authors but I could have sworn there used to be more honest-to-goodness-readers in the audience. Perhaps we simply need to spread the word – most of the UK crime-writing community is milling around in that one hotel, and we really need readers to talk to. I watched Lee Child do about 5 circuits of the bar, before he finally found someone to latch on to. No, honestly – I did, and I have witnesses.

CrimeFest is an amazing festival, lovingly organised, and packed with brilliant people. It was great to catch up with old friends, and make new ones, to exchange recommendations then buy the books and play hunt-the-author to get them signed. Who wouldn't want a few days of that? Exactly! I'll see you there next year!

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Location, Location, Location

It's not long until CrimeFest arrives in the heart of Bristol, so I thought it might be fun to compile a map of nearby locations from the D.I. Harland books.

Just follow THIS LINK to access a fully interactive map (you should even be able to use it on your phone).

The blog side-panel has also been updated to include individual maps for each story. Enjoy exploring, and my apologies if I've set part of my book in your street!

eBook Prices

I've just written a piece for The Writer's Workshop, called The future of eBook prices: a lesson from the app industry. It's aimed at writers and people from publishing, so feel free to link to it or Tweet about it. Thanks!

A Series Of Fortunate Events

I had a hugely enjoyable time celebrating World Book Night at Bristol Central Library last week. Together with fellow authors Philip Purser-Hallard and Lucienne Boyce, we discussed the process of getting into print, and hopefully helped to encourage our audience of writers.

I'm back in Bristol for CrimeFest, with runs from the 14th to the 17th of May, and I'll be doing two panels on Saturday the 16th.
Following that, I have Library talks at Hythe on the 3rd of June, and Totton on the 10th of June - please contact the libraries for ticket details.
Then it's off to the wonderful Goldsboro Books for Crime In The Court on the 25th of June. And as if that wasn't enough, I'll also be wandering around Harrogate in July. If you're at any of these events, do please come and say hello!

Monday, 9 March 2015


Oh dear. I appear to have reached that terrible moment that I reach in almost everything I write - the moment when another story starts to intrude on my imagination, tempting me with its simplicity and its lack of baggage, promising me that I can do whatever I want...

It’s a problem. I don’t want to be thinking about another story, particularly one in another genre, and certainly not now, when I still have a lot to do on my current book… but even as I push those thoughts and ideas away, I worry. I worry that if I don’t explore them now, when seem to burn so bright, that they’ll somehow fade; that when I do return to them, I’ll find them diminished.

Why can’t I have my ideas in a more orderly fashion, one at a time? Writing would be so much simpler if I could.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Broken Fall

When my editor suggested that I write a shorter, ebook-only story, I really wasn't sure what would happen. Yes, I'd written short stories before, but this was different – a 20,000 word novella, roughly a quarter of a full-length novel. After a bit of time mulling over different ideas, I began making weekend trips to Bristol, researching and writing on-location, just as I do for my full-length books. It took a while to complete, but hopefully you'll enjoy reading the results.

Broken Fall features my troubled detective, Graham Harland, in his very first murder case for Bristol CID. Set a little while after the events of Knife Edge and just before Cut Out, it's an ideal entry-point to the series for new readers. It's also my first real whodunit, so I'm eager to know how many of you correctly identify the killer, and whether you do so before Harland does – contact me via @fergusmcneill on Twitter and let me know once you've read it.

You can order Broken Fall on Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, or Google Play, and it's only 99p – I really hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

On three...

A few weeks ago, I was at Hodder's London office for a meeting. My editor, Francesca, smiled as she handed me a finished copy of Cut Out and said, "Your third book!"

At the time, it didn't really sink in and, with the pressures of work (and the pleasures of two different literary festivals this week) publication day sort of slipped past, without me having time to think about it.

Writing and publication are oddly disconnected events. Cut Out was finished months ago and, since then, I've completed a new DI Harland novella, and started work on a fourth full-length novel. With my head now firmly in a different story, it was like an unexpected meeting with an old friend when I read the first reviews of Cut Out. It made me pause, thinking back to the day my agent called to tell me she'd negotiated a three-book deal. At the time, that third book seemed a long way away... but now the hardback is sitting in front of me as I type this.

It's been a brilliant and challenging journey, thus far... I still can't believe it's happening, and I can't wait to see where the stories go next.