Swim: A Short Story

  In May 2017, BBC Radio 4 asked if I would be interested in writing a short story, to be broadcast as part of their 'Short Works' series. The only limitations were the length (around 2000 words) and the title ('Swim'). You can listen to the story here, or read...

Six Months In

  Six months ago this week, Little Deaths was launched in the UK. It feels like far more than six months ago – and not just because January 12th was freezing and my launch party was decorated with flurries of snow, while I’m writing this in the sweltering heat of...

On ‘Classic’ Crimes

  George Orwell, in his tongue-in-cheek essay The Decline of the English Murder (1946), identified a number of characteristics of “what would be, from a News of the World reader’s point of view, the ‘perfect’ murder”. Orwell’s perfect murder would be entirely...

Ones To Watch: Other Debuts To Look Out For

  I have a confession to make. When I was a young and foolish Flint, I avoided reading ‘first novels’, unless I’d already read and enjoyed something else by the author. I thought ‘debut novel’ meant ‘raw and unpolished’. That a lack of experience meant the...

Approaching The Launch

  Three years ago, I didn’t have an agent, or a novel – just an idea, a handful of characters, and 40,000 words on paper. Two years ago, I still didn’t have a complete first draft. One year ago, I’d signed with publishers in five countries, and was going through...

My Top Ten Crime Novels

  There’s something peculiarly seasonal about crime fiction. It belongs to foggy autumnal evenings and to the darkness at the heart of a December night. So in the spirit of the best winter’s tales: close the curtains and light the lamps, draw up a chair to the...

Buzzing At BEA

  Monday 9th May 2016 was the beginning of a week of firsts. My first time in Chicago. My first time in America for almost 20 years. The first time I’d met anyone from my American publisher. And my first BookExpo America. For anyone as unfamiliar with BEA as I...

Getting Published

  Writing with input from someone who’s as invested in your work as you are – my first professional reader was my UK agent – is a very different experience to writing alone. You feel a new sense of responsibility: not just to write well, but to write better....

Becoming A Writer

  I became a writer when I was ten years old, the same year that I discovered Agatha Christie – and therefore crime fiction. On Christmas Day 1984, I unwrapped a notebook and a box of pens, and after lunch, while everyone else dozed chipolata-stuffed in front of...