Many thanks for your interest in Dogknife.
I hope you will join thousands of others and take the plunge, grab yourself a copy and find out more about the colourful characters in my book.
I spent one year, between 2007 and 2008, writing a little bit at a time, trying to write something everyday, maybe a couple of lines or an entire paragraph. It was a long journey, mostly I would not know what I was going to write until I opened the A4 pad and picked up my biro. The journey to complete the novel was not made any easier by me being locked up in prison at the time. Having turned my life around - I am now totally tee-total and clean living - I continue to grow as a writer and currently run a project trying to help vulnerable groups of adults and young people to use creative writing to boost their personal development and employability. I will never stop trying to give back to communities, especially when I wasted so much of my youth being a burden to my own.
In terms of writing, I never sketch out scenes or dialogue on paper and I never design chapters or paragraphs, which is what numerous off-the-shelf novel-writing guides instruct you to do. I prefer to let ideas float around in my head for a bit, thinking about the possibilities of where a story might go, what might be said between characters and, in relation to Dogknife as a very gritty story, what would be likely to happen to characters in this setting as opposed to writing something completely unbelievable and far-fetched.
As writers, we who pen stories are obliged to create worlds that readers can lose themselves in but inner-city, street-slang stories like Dogknife require attention to real-life detail and cannot be totally fabricated, like an entire world in a fantasy story, for example, because readers can spot what is likely to be true or realistic and what is totally false and unbelievable. Police procedurals, as a rule, are often well-researched and that is why those at the top of that genre, which Ed Mcbain helped to establish, are at the top: stories about real life must be realistic!
It is therefore my hope that if you read Dogknife, which I hope you will, then you will read it and understand that at its heart is a tale that could be true for thousands of teenage girls in the UK and that, I believe, is what makes reviewers so far say it is gripping...