About me

Why I write

I write, I edit and I read. I’ve worked as a proofreader, a copywriter, an editor and a creator of online content for training organizations. For a while I worked as an organization psychologist, running training courses for a variety of well-known companies. I started writing stories young, and you can tell that I’ve never been satisfied with a formal job description. At the back of my mind I’ve always had the idea that I would return to writing.

Two years ago the opportunity came and I took it with both hands and started writing full time. I’ve been influenced by the great American writers of crime thrillers – Chandler, Macdonald, Robert Crais, George Pelecanos, Robert B. Parker, Elmore Leonard … the list is long, if not endless. What spurred me on was to write books with the wit and sparkle that these writers bring to their work, but set in an environment and a context that I knew. Not knowing Los Angeles or Washington or Boston or Miami, it had to be the north of England. My Sam Dyke Investigations series follows one man’s quest to stop screwing up his life while finding and catching bad guys.

To help me understand what I’m doing as a writer, I write an occasional blog, where I analyse and critique crime novels, at Crime Writing Confidential. The best posts from the blog are collected in the book of the same name, and earlier blog posts are reprinted in The Idle Writer. I’ve also written a contemporary novel called Actress about a young actress trying to define her career, and a romance novel, A French Darcy, under the pseudonym Kay Dixon.

If you want to contact me about anything, then click this link, which will take you to a page with various contact details on it.