Robert Pimm Leigh Turner writing

Leigh Turner writing: how I write, what I write, when I write

Leigh Turner
Leigh Turner

Leigh Turner writing: how to write novels, a blog and short stories, while holding down a full-time day job.  For writing a book, a target-driven approach may work for some people.

Thanks to everyone who has been reading my latest books.

When do you write?

People sometimes ask me: ‘when do you write?  What are you working on now?’

Leigh Turner writing

Here is a snapshot.

I write on weekends and free evenings.  My goal is to do two hours of writing every day.  It is an ambitious target, but I often meet it.  I’m generous to myself on what counts as writing – eg this blog, research or meeting another author as well as physically putting pen to paper.  This target-driven approach works for me.

Mostly I work in the evenings between about 8 p.m. and 1 a.m.  At weekends I sometimes manage four or five hours in a day.  Many nights and some weekends, I don’t write at all.  Often I find that moving to a place with no computer, with only my writing book and a couple of different-coloured pens, can stimulate creativity.

How do you write?

I usually write in long-hand, then transcribe to the computer.  Looking at a computer screen as I write slows me down.  The act of transcription to the screen later is enjoyable, and acts as an extra edit.

Leigh Turner writing: what next?

Most recent project: Palladium

My Istanbul thriller Palladium links a powerful, myth-flavoured opening set at the time of the Conquest of Istanbul in 1453 with a modern-day thriller introducing John Savage, thrown out of MI6 for gross misconduct.  It was published by US publishers Immortal Works in May 2022.

Coming next: “The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to Diplomacy

I’m working on this now, full-blast. It will distill the wit and wisdom of 42 years of diplomacy and will be published in spring 2023.

Next: the trilogy

My top project is the third in my trilogy of comedy love stories: two novels down, one to go.  Writing a novel is, as any writer knows, a big job.  The completed two are called Sex and the Summit and The Boyfriend (the latter is a working title); the third, half-written, is called The Spear of Destiny.  I hope to publish the trilogy after 2022.


Another key writing project is marketing my latest books. If you have read them, I always welcome reviews on Amazon. Thanks!

It is a tragic fact that, however brilliant, books do not sell themselves.  Promotions – blogs, book readings, circulars or tweaking the settings on Amazon (I occasionally offer a Hotel Story for free) make a difference.  I love doing readings, so do come along any time.

More hotel stories

A long-term project is my Seven Hotel Stories.  I originally wrote them, and continue to write them, as annual birthday presents for my partner, who is a hotel general manager (GM).  But after I had some terrific feedback, I published them (11 so far). You can download a complete free Hotel Story here, or read the first seven of them by clicking on the link below.

Leigh Turner Seven Hotel Stories

Leigh Turner writing: the web-site

Another big job is running this web-site.  It’s easy to spend an evening tidying up links, updating posts, and so on – even before you start writing anything.  My biggest danger is obsessing over how many hits I’m getting – I try not to look more than once every ten seconds, but it’s tough.

The back catalogue

I am attached to my back catalogue of novels and short stories.  In addition to Blood Summit, Eternal Life, Sex and the Summit and The Boyfriend I have written four other novels:

– A Killing in Sevastopol, a thriller I wrote in 2012 about tensions between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea, is a prequel to Blood Summit.  It stars John Savage, a former SIS agent traumatised by a murder in Moscow who returns to work as a diplomat in Kyiv.  Also in the drawer;

– The Skip Outside the Lenin Museum, a thriller set in 1990s Moscow, is a prequel to A Killing in Sevastopol.  Yes, it is in the drawer;

– Holiday Period is a prequel to Eternal Life, set a few hundred years earlier in London.  Currently in the drawer.

Leigh Turner writing: short stories

I also have a back catalogue of other short stories – such as “Fixing It“, published on this blog.

So that’s it.  It’s demanding.  It’s a joy.  It’s writing.

P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, please subscribe to my weekly newsletter (you can unsubscribe anytime you wish).  Or, as I say, please do write a review of any of my books on Amazon.


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