How Robin Stevens writes

Robin Stevens “I do a massive spreadsheet of the murder, with the time of the murder and where everyone was in five-minute chunks leading up to it. It helps me get into the heads of the different characters, understand their motives and make sure their alibis work. Everybody has to be in the right place at the right time and all the clues have to be seeded.”
[in an interview with ‘The Bookseller’ magazine, July 22, 2016]

Robin Stevens


I wish Robin Stevens had been writing books when I was a child, I would have devoured them. My bookcase was full of Mallory Towers. The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, Arthur Ransome’s The Big Six and Agatha Christie. Apparently Stevens grew up reading the same books. Her detective series is very popular with eight to 12-year old girls.

Her use of spreadsheets is interesting and I will try it out for my third novel, Sweet Joy. My novels are not crime stories, but they are about secrets and lies and it is essential to manage the twists and turns of the plot.

Read more about Robin Stevens’ books at her website.

Robin Stevens


See how these other novelists write:-
Rose Tremain
Bill Clegg
Tracy Chevalier

‘Murder Most Unladylike’ by Robin Stevens [UK: Puffin]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
How children’s detective author Robin Stevens writes: spreadsheets via @SandraDanby #amwriting