Ann Cleeves

Literary Birthday – 24 October – Ann Cleeves

Happy Birthday, Ann Cleeves, born 24 October 1954.


  1. Don’t write for the market. You won’t enjoy it, the readers will be able to tell you’re not really engaged, and anyway the trend in publishing will have changed before the book is ready to go out into the world.
  2. Read a lot.
  3. Finish the book before you start editing and polishing. It’s very tempting to tweak material already written, but much better to get the framework in place first.
  4. I write like a reader, without any planning. I have to write the next scene to know where the story is going.
  5. [I get my greatest ideas] By listening to other people. That’s what I’ve missed most during the pandemic: the overheard conversations in trains or restaurants. Places often trigger ideas for books too.

Read our interview with Ann Cleeves.

Ann Cleeves is a British author of crime fiction. She has written 30 novels in 30 years, and is the creator of detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez. The Vera Stanhope Novels have been dramatised as the TV detective series Vera, and the Jimmy Perez Shetland novels as the series Shetland. Her latest novel is The Heron’s Cry and it features Detective Matthew Venn.

Source for photograph: David Hirst (via author’s publishers)

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 23rd October 2021