Trying to get back into a working routine after the loss of our lovely Labrador, Lottie, I tackled the mass of papers and folders and notebooks that were cluttering my desk and lurking in drawers.

A lot of them could safely be thrown out, but only after I’d checked them in case they held nuggets of wisdom. I came across a few good ideas that I’ve filed away in the bulging folder that’s unimaginatively¬† labelled ‘Ideas’, but I was more interested to find some early scribblings about characters and story elements that you might recognise.

Here’s the moment when a certain person came into being:

Inspector Trenchford, named after a local reservoir, didn’t make the cut because I thought I might refer to the reservoir, and I think the place is mentioned in the books.

Some early ideas about Dan:

Coming up with a title for the first book and for the series:

Figuring out the timeline in the backstory of A Study in Stone:

Spoiler Alert!

Coming up with the cipher for A Study in Stone:

Sketching out the relative positions of the locations in Valley of Lies:

A crude map for Valley of Lies:

Some deeper thoughts about Dan for Valley of Lies:

Written on a train, the initial ideas for Murder Between the Tides:

I hope you found this glimpse behind the scenes interesting.¬† If you’d like more of this kind of thing, please comment below, and please do the same if you’d like to ask anything about the photos or about my working methods.

To comment on the photos, please sign in. Registration is free. Thanks.

To see other featured photos on the site, please visit the Featured Photos category,

Keep the Words Flowing

To keep me writing, I need tea in industrial quantities. You can make that happen with just a couple of clicks

Get Free Books

Plus a newsletter worth reading

Thank you for signing up. Please check your inbox for a confirmation email and click on the activation link.