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Pauline Rowson on writing routines, research and thinking time

Pauline Rowson at the keyboardI'm often asked if I have a writing routine and the answer is not strictly although I do like to write every day if I possibly can, speaking engagements permitting. But "writing" isn't just pounding away on a keyboard. Creating a crime novel requires more. There is, of course, the research which can be desk research conducted via the internet, books and newspapers, and secondary research, which involves talking to the experts and visiting locations. There is also thinking time.

Some days when the words flow, or I am at a critical stage of writing - usually at the end of the first draft of a novel - I am keen to crack on and write as much as I can. This can result in me spending up to seven hours, maybe more, sitting at my computer. Other days I will struggle to find the correct words and the creative flow will trickle to a halt. If the latter happens I usually pick up my knitting, or do some sewing or go for a walk while my mind works away at the snag with the plot or with a character. That is my thinking time.

Writing a novel also involves research and I do a lot of research on location, walking DI Andy Horton's patch which is Portsmouth, the Solent and the Isle of Wight. (Alright so I can't walk on water but I can traverse the Solent by boat). While my mind is constantly working, thinking through the plots or sub plots, developing characters and looking for a good place to put a body!

Silent Running featuring Art Marvik

With the Art Marvik crime series my research takes me further afield. In SILENT RUNNING, the first novel to feature the former marine commando turned undercover investigator, it took me to the coastal town of Weymouth in Dorset to the marina there, and in the opposite direction to the seaside towns of Littlehampton, its marina, to Bognor Regis and to Chichester Marina in West Sussex.

The second Art Marvik mystery thriller, DANGEROUS CARGO took me to Kimmeridge Bay in Dorset and Swanage on location research. While number three in the series, LOST VOYAGE, my journey was to the Severn Sisters, Beachy Head and Eastbourne.

My research also involve me seeking out experts and talking to them, conducting research using the Internet, the library and other resources. And all of this is fitted around the crime novel I'm working on.

So I don't have a routine and I don't count the number of words but suffice to say not a day goes past without me either writing (pounding the keyboard) researching, or thinking.

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MAY 8TH, 2019 @ 6:39:43 BST

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