One question I am often asked is – Where do you get your plot ideas? Well, my standard answer – They just come to me – seemed such an evasive response that I really had to give it some thought. So, Frank, I asked myself, just where do your plot ideas come from?

Ideas for plots come from all around you, came the answer – In everyday life, on the TV, in the newspapers, in snippets of juicy gossip, any of which could have me cocking my head at some innocuous comment and asking that much asked authorial question – What if…?

The plot for BLOOD TORMENT came to me when I was watching the news one day, and my antenna zapped to full alert at the tragic story of a missing child. The police focused on the child’s close family, in this case the mother, who tearfully sought the public’s help in finding her child. When I first listened to her, she sounded plausible, but within a few days the devastating news that a child’s body had been found changed everything, and the mother eventually broke down and confessed to having murdered her four year old son.

As this heart-breaking story closed out, I wondered… what if… a child went missing, and the police homed in on the mother, only to uncover some dark family secret that no one would have found out or ever have suspected otherwise. And if so, what could that secret be?

The answer to that question surprised even me.

BLOOD TORMENT – number six in the DCI Andy Gilchrist series set in St Andrews – will be published by Constable on 5th May. For more information on Frank and his novels, visit his website at

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