So, why do you want to write? A good question...

It as been a while...

I planned to take 2022 off from writing completely. A full break.

And here's why - sixteen years of writing, going through the mill of pitching, getting published, watching publishers go bust and retrieving my material back for indie platforms non-stop had taken its toll,

I needed to hit the pause button.

I needed to stop and take stock of why I write, what compels me to rise every morning and start typing words and sentences and paragraphs. 

We were opening up after the nightmare of Covid. My last novel, A KIND OF DROWNING had become my most commercially successful to date

(and by commercial, I mean it broke even.)

Part of the decision to pause was to stick my finger up into the wind and see what direction the winds of commercial fiction was blowing. And Crime Fiction was very much the single biggest genre - it was a no-brainer. A KIND OF DROWNING was testament to that. I began the very rough drafts of a second novel. P.J. Crowe, the principal character, had received some fine reviews and commentary and then two things happened at the same time.

1. The Cheshire Novel Prize & 2. Connecting with David Morrell.

The CNP consisted of a series of rounds that led to being selected on a long list that whittled down to a short list and then the winner announced in August, I polished up 5000 words, drafted a solid synopsis and entered in January. I didn't make the long list but got a derailed reader feedback (it was read twice through by  three readers) and all the observations were positive. All three had one observation - Crowe was a great creation.

Feeling encouraged I began in January this year my tenth novel - its current wip title is CHOKE COVE, but by the midpoint of the draft I was floundering, the project wasn't coming together and becoming more of a CHORE COVE.

2. Enter David Morrell. I had read through lockdown his Thomas de Quincey trilogy; Murder as a fine art, Inspector of the dead and Ruler of the Night, and we had built up a correspondence over the year. He recommended a book The 100 Thrillers you must Read which I mined into. He was constantly polite and encouraging and he posed a question to me that comedian Jerry Lewis asked his students at his comedy lectures.

"Why do you want to be a comedian?"

The only answer he would accept as he turned applicants away was "Because I have to," - but he didn't just settle for that - "Why do you have to?" and that answer was simply I cannot exist without doing it,

And as David pointed out this was the reason - because I cannot exist without doing it. I had entered a competition, and reached out to a hugely successful writer who was happy to share his views and nudged me again along the path I have chosen.

The first draft of CHOKE COVE is now finished - I need to let it rest, breath, the last words THE END are merely the beginning of tearing it apart, editing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting. As Mel Brooks once observed - the first draft is only the concept. 

David recommended I do one of two things to clear the 'tone' of the now completed project; write a short story, write an essay (or) as I'm doing now, write a blog piece.

Its been a while, but now I'm back on the road writing.

(I've linked David's excellent tab off his website - plenty of good food for thought there)

My website is here


June 2022




Robert Craven

yes, I write because I write.