Olly Jarvis | Cut-Throat Defence | Q&A

I had the pleasure of being part of the Blog Tour surrounding the latest Olly Jarvis’ book, Cut-Throat Defence which you can purchase here.  This meant I read the book and was able to ask Olly some questions, and being the law geek I am, I decided to go down a very law related route.

Here is the brief Q&A:

Question 1

Could you briefly explain your background/legal career?

I grew up in London, then travelled the world for a few years before reluctantly coming back to do the Bar Finals. I headed north to Manchester for a second six months pupillage in 1993 and I’ve been there ever since. My practice has been exclusively criminal defence, right from the start. I’m now at Exchange Chambers.

Question 2

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Only in my dreams. Then one day I decided that if I didn’t try and make it a reality, it would be my biggest regret.

Question 3

You have a very unique writing style, where has this stemmed from?

To be honest, I have no idea! When I was called to the Bar we were told that ‘economy of language’ was the most important attribute of a barrister. Possibly, years of trying to cut to the chase in court has made me write fiction with the same brevity!

Question 4

Some of your chapters are very short, one page even, is this writing style preference or do you write chapters based on time?

I come from a family of actors. When I was a kid I used to draw and colour-in on the back of old scripts – maybe that’s why I write in a filmic style. I visualize the chapters as scenes in a movie which I hope adds pace to the story and pulls the reader along.

Question 5

When are you most inspired to write?

First thing in the morning, when I’m fresh – it doesn’t last long!

Question 6

Working in the legal sector can be very demanding, how do you find time to write?

It’s a constant battle – work, kids etc, but I try and get the train everywhere nowadays. A long journey to some far-flung court is a great time to write.

Question 7

So are any of the characters in the book, “Cut Throat Defence” based on people you have worked with or seen?

None of the characters are based on actual people or cases, but I am writing about what I know – the criminal justice system. It’s impossible to avoid drawing on past experiences and shadows of people I’ve met.

Question 8

How did you come up with the idea for the book?

I remember my first appearances in court – adrenalin pumping, the stress and the fear. I still get nervous, it’s a tough career. That’s what I wanted to get across in this novel.

Question 9

Did the story change much whilst writing?

Yes, the plot evolved over time and became more complex. After I finished the first draft, I went back to the manuscript, time and time again, weaving in new threads.

Question 10

What is your most and least enjoyable aspect of writing a book?

I hate the way it takes over your life, but seeing a great review from someone you’ve never met makes it all worth it. That can make a grown man cry!

Question 11

Why did you decide to make this an ebook, when your previous book, Death By Dangerous was paper copy?

My first book sold ten times more ebooks than print copies. That’s how crime fiction readers tend to read, I guess it’s cheaper. When I got an offer from my amazing digital publishing specialists, Canelo, it was a no-brainer. They have the industry expertise to sell my stories to a much wider audience. When you’re selling a download, which only needs the press of a button to purchase, there are literally, no boundaries to who you can reach.

Question 12

Have any skills you have developed whilst practising law helped you as a writer?

Yes, there are so many. Being disciplined, working to a deadline, having a strategy, thinking ahead.

Question 13

Are there any future books?

Yes, the sequel to Cut-Throat Defence, which is called The Unconvicted, also published by Canelo, will be out next year.

Question 14

Finally, who is your favourite crime writer?

No one compares to John Grisham, particularly his earlier novels.

And thanks for having me on your blog.

Do check out my post later on with a review of the book!

Rebecca x

Are you coming to the Annual Bar and Young Bar Conference 2016?

I am so excited to be heading back to the Annual Bar and Young Bar Conference 2016 in a few weeks time.  I had a great time last year, the sessions were really good, the exhibition was great and I got to meet some old friends and make some new ones.


Saturday 15th October 2016 at the Westminster Park Plaza, London.


There were early bird prices for quite some time but I am not sure if they still apply.  They might possibly still apply for students but not lawyers.  Check this out online though. (Click the image below to be taken straight to the page for all the necessary information).

So, are you coming to the Annual Bar and Young Bar Conference?

If you haven’t booked a ticket yet or are considering whether you should attend then maybe check out some of my old blog posts about it from last year.

I met with lots of barristers and pupils whilst at the conference, and had some amazing conversations – so I definitely recommend it to barristers.

I would highly recommend students attending (whether you are LLB, GDL, LLM, BPTC), I personally had a great day, and I attended the sessions most suited to me, and they weren’t all the Young Bar related ones.

Click on the link below to be taken to the page where you can find costs and more information, including the sessions that are running.

Bar Council Annual Bar Conference

I am going to be tweeting all of my conference notes and general engagement tweets during the day (I don’t make notes any more at conferences I just tweet them all), so I am sorry if you get a bombardment of tweets from me on the 15th October.

If you are attending drop me a tweet, my twitter is @lawyer_inmaking (You can follow me by clicking here) and we can say hi etc.

I am really excited to be attending the Annual Bar Conference and Young Bar Conference and really hope it is going to be as good as last year was!

Rebecca x

*  Note this is not a sponsored post!

Lawyer In The Making is heading to Hong Kong

If you follow me on twitter or have liked my Facebook Page, then you will have just seen that I have announced that I have rebooked my trip to Hong Kong!

I was meant to go earlier in the year, but was unable to do so, so I am very excited to have managed to squeeze in a quick trip for work before 2016 is out.

Why Hong kong?

I have been approached by a few people to pop out and chat about work, plus as you know I am such a law geek, so I plan to visit some Universities and courts, and also attend some legal events (as well as sight see, and admire the beautiful Hong Kong Skyline *photo was taken from google*)

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

I can’t share too much about the work I may or may not be doing right now but what I can tell you is that I will be visiting the Hong Kong Bar Association and the Hong Kong Law Society whilst I am there.  There will be diary entry posts when I am in Hong Kong and of course I will be tweeting and sharing photos on Facebook and Instagram too.  So if you aren’t following me on these platforms now is the time to do so.

I will also be visiting a couple of courts (yes I am that much of a law geek), and will definitely be sitting in on 2 sessions at the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal, and I am fortunate that there is a criminal and civil procedure matter happening whilst I am over there.  I am also looking forward to visiting the High Court and the Competition Tribunal.

I am really excited to be heading to Hong Kong and to be going for work stills feels extremely surreal.  This year has felt like I have taken Lawyer In The Making and my digital marketing consultancy business on tour!

Thank you for your continued support of my blog, encouraging law students and prospective students on pursuing a legal career, and supporting lawyers with their digital marketing would never have happened if it wasn’t for your support!

Have you been to Hong Kong? Do you work or study there? Maybe you have some sight seeing recommendations? Let me know!

Rebecca x


GCSE Results Day |2016

Congratulations to everyone who has received their GCSE Results today.  I worked out that 9 or 10 years ago I received mine, and that is making me feel quite old.

For some of you, you have spent the entire month trying to forget about the 25th August 2016, and others have wished it would come a lot quicker.

Well Done - GCSE Results

Well Done – GCSE Results

GCSE Results 2016 – IN THE NEWS

The news headlines today seem to mainly be focusing on the negatives, “huge declines in pass rates”, “what to do if you fail” and I would like this blog post to be slightly more positive.

what to do in the future

Growing up I was always told that so long as you know that you did your best, and that you couldn’t have possibly done anything more to study or in the exam, then that was fine.  Obviously my parents always want the best for me, but sometimes you can know absolutely everything, and the exam just doesn’t go your way, or you aren’t feeling so well.

So a message to everyone receiving results today, WELL DONE!

If you received the results you wanted, continue to work on your successes and the skills that got you there.

If your results were not what you expected, remember that everyone has a bad day sometimes, and sometimes these bad days fall on exams.  Pick yourself up, and focus on future study and exams.

If your results were not what you expected because you know deep down you didn’t study properly, you didn’t revise as much as you should or you just didn’t care in the exam, then you already know what you need to do.  Knuckle down and work hard, especially if you want to head off to University in two years.

Remember that you can turn everything around in your A Levels, but you need to put the work in.

Best of luck for the future.

Rebecca x

Is the news always negative?

Every now and then, well actually more often than not, I turn the radio on in the car and listen to the news and the only stories making the headlines are negative ones.

It is common practice nowadays to hear about crimes, murders, police investigations, prison enquiries and so much more.

Whilst I appreciate that this needs to be shared, sometimes that is all that is shared.

You aren’t telling me that at any given time there is nothing else happening in the world, no other news stories to report on, or some uplifting pieces to share.

I am aware that the world we live in, is sadly one where crimes committed are a daily occurrence, and I am not naive to think this does not go on.  However, every now and then I would love to hear an uplifting story, or even something that was not crime related.

is it too much to ask to have some positivity in the news every now and then?

Whilst I do understand that there is so much going on in the world, from terrorism, wars, politics, religion and even poverty, and we definitely NEED to be hearing about these things, do we really need to be hearing constantly about all of the crimes that have been committed?  Plus that handful we hear about each day isn’t even half of what is going on here in the UK on a daily basis.

How nice has it been over the last few weeks to see the news dominated by people’s achievements at the Olympics, stories of people who have fought so hard to make it to the Olympics and even go on and win medals.  Stories of people beating the odds to represent Great Britain.

These are the stories children need to be hearing, they need to be encouraged and shown how hard work can pay off, whatever field they want to go into.

They need to be reminded that having an education (not necessarily going to university) but sticking school out is necessary.

They need to be reminded that getting into trouble at a young age isn’t cool, it is stupid.

They need to be reminded that bullying other class mates doesn’t make them big or clever, it makes them a horrible person.

Why can’t these olympic athletes be people that the children in our schools aspire to be? Why can’t the children working tirelessly to raise money for various causes be the role models for children today?

Is it possible to take the focus less off crime, and instead remind people what it means to be a decent human being?

There will always be crime (I know that) but let’s take the focus off that, share the news stories like we have to do so, but also infiltrate them with stories that inspire, encourage and motivate young people to live a life free from crime.

Let’s take the glamour out of committing crimes because it really is having a huge impact on the children of tomorrow, and I for one don’t like where this is leading.

Rebecca x