I have just joined this group so I thought it was about time to briefly introduce myself.

I am English and have recently retired from the Met Police after having spent 30 years working as a detective, mainly in serious sexual crimes.

(if anyone needs any help or advice in regards to Police procedure, forensics or the courts just ask).

After retiring we sold all our possessions, bought a boat which we live on and have been sailing around the world for the last four years.

We do have a very unpolitically correct blog of our sailing adventures (www.Cygnus3.com) but my real writing passion lies in crime thrillers.

I am currently writing my first novel.

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I don't know about smell and taste, but these days I tend to look in only if someone has posted. There was a time when I tried to get things going, but people ar just very busy.

At the moment it would just not work with the main novel I am writing although I am writing another part time which is along similar line to the blog but all about that grown up job I had.

Sometimes it just gives me a break from concentrating hard so everything fits in.

I am also using dramatica and write it now. Both bits of software are excellent at what they do and help me in creating timelines, back story plot and bringing it all together.

Are you one of those clever people who just write?

Never heard of dramatica. I have heard about some other writing aids, but frankly know nothing about using them. I just write. Nothing clever about it.

Helps you really concider the story your writing getting the beat right, characters, sub plots and things like that. It is a very steep learning curve to start with but worth persevering with. I wish I could just write but I need to have a bit of a story and ending in my head (or on paper first). It will no don't change numerous times along the way but years of being methodical are hard to change.

I.J. sure seems clever to me and I'll give her a chance to reply as soon as I tell you, Mark, that I really liked the blog. The photos were great, too, but the first one of the sailor kissing a girl looked suspiciously like one from a magazine cover in 1945. Phooey on weathermen - I've been drenched by predicted "clear skies" while riding on a motorcycle as we returned from bike night (more than once). 

If you looked at those particular images Jeanie you will see they are all famous images but I am also in every one.. Just a bit of fun... find Wally!

Welcome aboard, Mark. (Pun intended.) It's always good to see fresh blood on the site. I hope we can get some spirited discussions going. There's a lot of experience and expertise here, when suitably prompted.

I don't much like the idea of being fresh blood on a crime group!!!

As opposed to being a cold case? Like some of us?


From one ex cop to another, let me say welcome.  My poison is mostly military crime, but the regular variety also creeps in from time to time.


Thank you Liam. 

I sometimes wonder if it is actually harder to write crime when you know the procedures. Sometimes you have to ignore them or change them to make the book flow more freely.

It is also good to be able to have a bit of escapism and allow characters to be able to do and say anything without ending up in the crap (again) as I always seemed to do.

Also it gives me chance to make some of the people I knew out and out prats or baddies and other friends can take on goodies roles. They will all know who I am referring to but obviously names have been changed to protect the not so innocent.


I'm not sure that it makes it harder, it certainly helps with the research of procedures and such. You do have to put your "Hollywood hat" on though, as if it was told like it really happened I'm sure half the readers would be put to sleep.  

Interestingly, I recall reading through an early draft of an interview scene I wrote for my current WIP, I ended up having to cut half of it, and add a whole stack of narrative as it read like a transcript.



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