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'Something that would be fun to write and make me smile while doing so'

29 January 2024

I've always read (and watched) classic and cosy murder mysteries, but I'd never written one before, being known primarily as a thriller author. But then Covid happened, and during the first lockdown in 2020 everything felt rather bleak and uncertain. I decided to cheer myself up by writing a modern cosy mystery, something that would be fun to write and make me smile while doing so...

As for a tip, the one I always recommend is to set yourself a daily word count quota - mine is 1,000 words - and hit it every day you're writing.

You can always write more, of course. But extra words don't count against tomorrow's quota; you have to hit it afresh every day. For example, just this morning I wrote 1,500 words, which is great. But tomorrow I'll write at least another 1,000.

While it sounds simple and obvious, it takes discipline to put this into practice day after day, month after month, year after year. But if you do the results can be extraordinary...'

Anthony Johnston, author of The Dogsitter Detective series, Atomic Blonde (a graphic novel), The Explosion Code and three other thrillers and The Organised Writer