He was a real star, giving excellent answers to the varied questions flooding in. Although it was only the second #AskSwanwick, already more people were asking some intriguing questions of our Swanwick tutor, Simon.
Here are some Q&A excerpts for you to enjoy and whet your appetite for the next chat:
Simon Hall: I like clues along the way - it keeps the pace going and gives the reader something to think about.
Q: Do you think up the answer before you begin or does your story's plot line answer itself?
Simon Hall: I have the answer before I start, because I love twists and so have to make sure all the key hints are in the book.
Q: What kind of flaws do you like to paint into your protagonist?
Simon Hall: Whatever makes them human, so they're just like real people. Often in relationships. No further comment needed I fear!
Q: So, with twists do you plan the twists in first? Any good ideas on how to think of and work in twists?
Simon Hall: I see a twist and then work backwards. As to how to find twists - come to my workshop in August!
Q: Would you write, or have you written, a novel outside of the crime genre?
Simon Hall: Yes, and I think it's healthy for writers to branch out/explore. I'm currently working on a young adults' novel.
Q: Are there any crimes that publishers would consider a step too far?
Simon Hall: I'm not sure there are these days. There's a big market in very raw, real life, detailed and dark crime.
Q: Has your work as a crime correspondent ever interfered negatively with your writing crime fiction?
Simon Hall: Thankfully not. The cops I work with take my writing in good humour and even suggest plots to me now!
Q: Has writing crime fiction changed the way you look at "real" crime?
Simon Hall: Yes - I've had to think very carefully at how victims feel & that gives you a much better understanding of them.
Q: What has been the most surprising thing you've learnt by becoming a novelist?
Simon Hall: All about myself; my fixation with justice, coming to terms with my past, it's been no less than dizzying.
Several of our now 1787 followers said how much they got out of it! There were plenty of tweeters who were just following the chat as well as those brave enough to fire off a question or two. We even had one visitor from Valparaiso, Indiana, USA joining in!
To be able to read through the entire thread yourself, just search #AskSwanwick and click on the "All" option. While you're there, you might want to retweet your favourite answers or questions.
Our next #AskSwanwick takes place on 7th April, at 8pm (BST). Our Twitter chat guest will be agent and Swanwick tutor Meg Davis. We're extremely proud that Meg will dedicate an hour answering all the questions you've always wanted to ask an agent!
We hope our Twitter chats offer a sweet morsel of the tasty goodies in store for us in August!