Pauline Rowson discusses how her DI Horton mysteries are transformed from a simple idea into a fully formed book

I'm often asked if I have a writing routine. There are writers who write the same time every day come what may; others who will write a certain number of words every day and when they've done their quota, they'll knock off.  Me? I have no real set routine but I do like to write every day, speaking engagements permitting.

Some days when the words flow or I am at a critical stage of  writing - usually at the end of the first draft of a novel - I am keen to crack on and write as much as I can. This can result in me spending up to seven hours, maybe more, sitting at my computer. 

Other days I will struggle to find the correct words and the creative flow will trickle to a halt. If the latter happens I usually pick up my knitting, do some sewing or go for a walk while my mind works away at the snag with the plot or with a character.

But writing isn't only about pounding away at a keyboard, writers also spend a great deal of time staring into space - thinking! (That's where the knitting comes in handy, I can knit and think at the same time). Writing a novel also involves research and because my crime novels are set in the area in which I live I do a lot of research on location walking DI Andy Horton's patch which is Portsmouth, the Solent and the Isle of Wight.  

My mind is constantly working, thinking through the plots or sub plots and developing characters. Time will also be spent mapping out the plot lines and developing and researching the background of my characters, their personalities and motivations.

And when I'm not doing all the above there are copy edits to be checked and proofs to be read.

I'm currently writing DI Andy Horton  number eleven, as yet untitled. I aim to finish this by the end of September when Death Surge, (DI Horton ten) will be published by Severn House, so it's back to work and on with the writing.

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