Robert Craven's blog

The Allure of the island [* PRESS RELEASE *] A KIND OF DROWNING

How Dublin’s coastline inspired my writing during the Covid pandemic Growing up in Drimnagh in the 1980s the sea seemed very distant. To go for a walk along a beach meant taking buses and trains, and you would be away for the entire day. My mother would reminisce about her childhood holidays in Rush and in 2001, unable to afford anything closer to the city, my wife and I bought a house there. All we knew about Rush beforehand was that it was the...

NEW RELEASE - A Kind of Drowning

A KIND OF DROWNING The man standing at the funeral in bubble-gum pink hair is P.J. Crowe. His career as a detective is in tatters - he's facing dismissal, vilified by the press, and his wife's about to leave. Lying low in a small seaside town he spots a ‘Help Wanted’ ad in the kitchen of a local café. It offers him an escape from the public and his spiraling mental health - and it's where Thea Farrell worked – until she was found dead at sea...

Reigniting the creative spark 16/02/21

If anything, the Covid-19 crisis and adapting to lockdown and restrictions has forced creatives of all ilks to rethink their processes without abandoning their chosen path. A subtle connectivity that can ignite the spark through a passing conversation. I found myself over the past month in a slump. That post-novel funk that seeps in after you type THE END. My project is finished, I know this because I have no desire to go back in and add/delete...

When is a freebie, not a freebie?

When it needs a review. During the month of January this year, Kobo promoted two of my novels; Eagles Hunt Wolves ; and, The Road of a Thousand Tigers for free download on their platform. I put them up for this primarily as something readers could enjoy during the bleakest month in the grips of a pandemic. Two fast-paced page-turners always help take your mind off things. And, on a more mercenary level, I hoped to get some reviews on the back of...

"Are you making a movie, or telling a story?"

So went a conversation I had with Kenneth (not their real name) during the course of pitching my novel through 2020. In the unforgiving world of commercial publishing, this question is often asked - who is saying what to whom, and is their internal world caught up in the jump cuts of talking heads ? A roving POV can lead to confusion which begs the question most authors face - are you making a movie, or telling a story? I suspect that any author...

the world doesn't need another novel

"Publishing is a business, not a charity." went Kenneth (not his real name) on a phone call recently. Through lockdown 2020, I completed my latest novel. And I decided after six years of independent publishing to try my hand at pitching it via the conventional route. Carefully selecting the agents who handle this genre (crime), I began to follow the submissions process and track each submission on a spreadsheet. The first thing that became...

Happy New year! some thoughts on writing

Good morning from a lockdown Dublin. I'd like to wish everyone here a safe and happy 2021. I was going through some old notebooks and files last year during the idle months of April Level 5. As a writer, I tend to hoard; I have spaces jammed with half-filled notebooks, random idea pages, and newspaper and magazine clippings, so with all the unexpected free time, I decided to purge a lot of old or unused material and get it out of the house. I...

Echoes of Sound and Vision - Get Lenin on audible

When I was young, living in Manchester, my parents had an old valve radio. It was big, brown, and beige. It sat pride of place on the dresser in the living room of our house, shiny and smelling of furniture polish. The valves would hum and glow when you turned it on. Twisting the dial, the thin red line would slide along the station bandwidths, bringing the world in through the speakers. Everyday our home was filled with music, local news and...

The Great Durham Swindle

I was once told by a Liverpool author that the difference between the UK and the USA when it came to power is that while in the US power came from wealth in the UK, power came from privilege. This side of the Irish Sea, the current narrative rings true with the unelected advisor to the current government: Dominic Cummings. Julien Temple’s flawed but at times brilliant ‘The Great Rock ‘n Roll Swindle’ springs to mind. The Sex Pistols under the...

How JAWS was an inspiration for Eagles Hunt Wolves

Anyone walking along the riverside of the Limmat might have picked her out; a pretty girl of about twenty, whose maroon-looking lipstick accentuated her wan complexion. Her arm, bent at the elbow and carried at an awkward angle, might have given pause for thought; her fist, balled up into a permanent clench, was concealed between the buttons of her expensively cut overcoat. An attentive eye might even have noticed the small spattering of blood...

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