Black holes and writing strategies

As a thriller writer, whether action or psychological, the beginning and end of a novel are not usually the danger zones. It’s the middle. That’s the part when things can slow down or get confusing, and the reader can put the book down and begin searching on Netflix… So, you need something to keep the reader, and even the writer, going full steam ahead. And what is more attracting and compulsive than a black hole?

The theory is simple. Whether using a three, four or even five-act structure, there need to be big events, cruxes at the pivotal points, that pull the reader in, make them gasp and think ‘No no no!


On fight scenes…

Are you ever reading a thriller, and in a key scene there is a fight, but you get confused: the hero or villain seems to have three arms, or is facing one way then suddenly another, or else you just can’t visualise what is going on, and you really want to…?

Me too…

It’s not easy writing fight scenes – they work great on the silver screen, but in a book it’s hard for three main reasons. First, most writers have probably never been in a real fight, and being in a fight is completely different from watching one.…


Why I wrote 37 Hours

I remember when the accident at Three Mile Island (TMI) happened. It was the first time anything major transpired with a nuclear power plant. At the time I was pro-nuclear – it was hailed as the way forward: clean, limitless energy. I’ve always had a fascination with science, and nuclear energy and space exploration seemed to be the pinnacle of our achievements: splitting the atom and putting men on the moon. But the honeymoon with nuclear was over.
The real storm hit with Chernobyl.