S.J. Bolton

S.J. BoltonS.J. Bolton is the author of crime and thriller novels such as A Dark and Twisted Tide.

What is your method for overcoming writer’s block?

I don't have time to indulge in writers block, but I have a few tricks to help me through when the process is more challenging than normal. The first is to go back through work done previously, polishing, editing and generally improving as I go along. By the time I reach the point where I left off, I'm usually back in the flow and can just carry on.

If that isn't working, I take the dog out for a walk and try to clear my head of everything but the story. There's something about the steady rhythm of walking that usually gets the ideas flowing.

What are your favorite or most helpful writing prompts?

One trick is to Google real life crimes. There's nearly always something that will kick-start the process again.

What is the most valuable advice you received as a young writer?

I wasn't a young writer. I came to the job quite late in life, but the best piece of advice I've been given came from Lee Child. We met in Harrogate at the Crime Festival and had afternoon tea together. He impressed upon me the importance of complete focus on the writing process.

'Nothing else in your life matters,' he told me.

'How about my seven year old son,' I said. 'Won't let me forget I once missed a sport's day to go to a crime festival.'

'Tell him to get over it.'

I passed on the message. My son can't decide whether he's thrilled that a famous person knows his name or incensed that a famous person should dare tell him what to do. He hatches a plan: when he is big enough, he will find Lee, punch him on the nose, Reacher style and say, 'Get over that!'