Daily Mirror tax scandal front page - Researching The Breaking of Liam GlassI’ve just added a special new gift to go with the launch of my new novel The Breaking of Liam Glasswhich sets out tabloid truth in a crime-satire fiction.

I’ve not said much about the novel in this blog. You’ll have read more about it if you’re on my mailing list.

But I’ve just added an extra rather special story to the stories and other giveaways that people get if they buy the novel before midnight tomorrow, June 29 – and I’m rather proud of it.

This unrepeatable piece tells the story of the time I spent in the Daily Mirror newsroom, back in 2010, researching the novel.

It was difficult getting behind the scenes even then. A year or so later, the shocking truth of the phone-hacking saga began to emerge.

While it involved the Mirror far less than other papers, today, I can’t imagine any outside writer getting the same amount of access as I did.

My few days in the Daily Mirror newsroom may be quite unrepeatable now.

Newspaper secrets

Despite their products being very visible, newspaper offices are remarkably secretive places. Back in 2010, while researching my new novel The Breaking of Liam Glass, I wanted to see tabloid journalists at work and dig out the truth behind the myths.

I felt strongly, and still do, that the role of the red-tops is a vital one to the health – or otherwise – of our society. Their truths and lies form the basis of the lives of millions. Over the last century and more, the tabloids have, without a single doubt, swung elections, changed our social systems, fomented and ended wars.

Although this was before the phone hacking scandal broke, there had still been many scandals involving journalists, and they were understandably wary of people like me. After all, they knew all there was to know about digging dirt and (if necessary) inventing it.

Once I finally got inside, the world of a tabloid turned out to be quite different from what I’d expected. Less grossly distorting and yet perhaps more thought-provoking for all that.

The revelations often came from small things, little decisions, careless asides, throw-away comments that betrayed what journalists really behaved in their every-day lives. Important because those small day-to-day decisions can have such profound effects on us all.

Tabloid truth

In my time behind the scenes at the Mirror, I was allowed access to all the areas – from the news desk to the editor’s conferences. It provided a fascinating glimpse of the truth behind the myths – what really went on in those very secretive places where tomorrow’s news is hatched.

I’ve written it specially to celebrate the publication of The Breaking of Liam Glass – my crime-satire based in the world of knife-crime and tabloid journalism and you can only get it now – before midnight on launch day, June 29th 2017.

Details here