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Writing Rituals

Writing Rituals

The Noirwich Crime Writing Festival is an annual celebration bringing together superstar crime authors, exciting new talent and fans of all things crime fiction. This year it took place in mid-september and some of the great crime writers who appeared have shared their top writing rituals with us.

Stella Duffy, author of London Lies Beneath – ‘Sit down, do the work.’

Imran Mahmood, author of You Don’t Know Me – ‘I have to be able to write at the drop of a hat anywhere I happen to be – so I can’t afford rituals!’

Karen Maitland, author of The Plague Charmer – ‘A mug of tea before, during and after.I sit down at the keyboard at 9am and start writing whether or not I feel inspired. All the time I’m writing a novel I keep an object on the desk which I collected when I was planning it. For the current book, it’s a white stone with a red stain on it. For the last one, The Plague Charmer, it was a fragment of bone I found buried.’

Mel McGrath, author of Give Me the Child – ‘Every morning I apply a specially made superglue for writers to my office chair. Then I sit down at my keyboard.’

Nick Quantrill, author of The Dead Can’t Talk – ‘I can’t abide silence. I need low-level noise, coffee and (ideally) my favourite armchair.’

Stav Sherez, author of The Intrusions – ‘Coffee. Cigarettes.’

Lone Theils, author of Fatal Crossing – ‘I try to go away when I write intensely, simply because the reality of daily life has a way of dragging you out of the book and it takes me a while to get back in. When I am home I tend to take a short drive to the ocean every morning and go for a quick swim before I start writing. In the car I think about the plot and what I want to work on. The ocean always clears my mind.’

Laura Wilson, author of The Other Woman – ‘Notebooks. I’ve been scribbling down ideas in the same type for almost 20 years. Sadly, they’ve now stopped making them.’

Felicia Yap, author of Yesterday – ‘I thrive on having no rituals or routine, on doing things a little differently each time. Variety adds spice to both life and writing, at least in my case.’

Leye Adenle, author of Easy Motion Tourist – ‘None, unless ‘procrastinate till there’s a deadline’ is a ritual.’

So what’s your writing ritual?

All ten authors spoke at Noirwich Crime Writing Festival, which took place 14-17 September 2017. Catch up with the latest news and future events here:

About The Author

Various staff work on the Self-Publishing Magazine, contributing articles and features.

From the editor…

As we enter the autumn, the publishing industry is gearing up for the great Christmas rush. For self-publishers, this is often a frustrating time of year, with many not realising the long timescales that retailers work to. If you haven't already got your book in production, it's looking likely that it won't be ready in time for Christmas!

Even if you do get your book ready well in advance of the holiday season, getting retailers to take notice can be difficult. There are so many big books from the established publishing houses that it can be impossible to get noticed. That can mean that you forsake what appears to be the best selling season in favour of a time when there are fewer big books around, so in the early spring, for instance.


Yet that can work in your favour in fact... sell privately before Christmas, sell to the retailers afterwards when they are looking for new titles. A win-win for all!

In the next few months we will be altering the way that this magazine reaches readers, so watch this space!

Indie Pick


Held to Ransom – Book 3 in the Linmore Series by Jemima Brigges.

Joshua Norbery vowed never to marry for money, but is forced to accept the unthinkable; when he learns that a mortgage taken out on his family estate has been acquired by the bride’s father. The only way to regain it is to provide a son as heir to his father-in-law’s business empire.

Arthur Bradstone uses the threat of losing Linmore to ensure Joshua’s compliance, but no one seems to have told Joshua’s wife of the part that she is required to play.

Hardly has Joshua overcome the initial difficulties in his marriage, than shadows from his past threaten to tear it apart...

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