• Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlist Evening

    Alongside the fabulous Deirdre O’Byrne and Shreya Sen Handley, I’ve been invited to be part of a panel discussing the six novels shortlisted in this year’s Women’s Prize at Beeston Library on June 3rd.  I’m enjoying the reading, and am looking forward to the discussions very much – I think it might be a lively night…

  • Rash

    Having been immersed in novel-land lately – frantically writing the next one, plus growing increasingly excited about my fourth novel’s publication later this year – I’m incredibly happy to share some short story news.  My ‘Rash’ has been very kindly offered another outing (- that’s actually way better than it sounds).

    ‘Rash’ was originally published in Willesden Herald Volume 8, along with the competition’s other long-listed stories, and was later reprinted in my collection, ‘The Woman Under the Ground’, but right now you can read it here.

  • Exposing the Dead

    Over the moon that the occult detectives have allowed me to come out and play!  The latest Occult Detective Quarterly is now available, and among so many great things, Issue #5 also includes my ghost hunting short story, ‘Exposing the Dead’. 

  • Writing to a Theme

    A writing workshop, on Tuesday, 29th January, from 7pm, for Nottingham Writers’ Studio, in which we’ll be looking at freewriting, images and harnessing our senses and individual experiences in order to tailor our writing to specific creative writing competition and journal themes.

  • It’s That Time of the Year…

    To hope y’all had a happy and peaceful Yule, to wish you a wonderful 2019 – and to plug my novel, The Dawning 🙂

    Published in 2010 by Weathervane Press, The Dawning is a domestic thriller, taking place over the course of a single New Year’s Eve Night, as each member of the Haywood family is forced to confront their fears…

    If you like, you can read a (non-fear-filled) extract below –

    It is New Year’s Eve and, at last, Nicola is free. Just as she was hoping she would be.

    “We’re free!” she shouts, running through the night, through the cold, damp streets with Christine, laughing and laughing, while the stars wheel and glitter in the big, black sky. They’re like sequins on a velvet prom dress, those stars, so pretty. Gazing up, Nicola feels her heart lifting, her body stretching and tingling as if she’s taking off, about to fly. She’s no longer simply running over the dark, glistening cobblestones, but leaping and soaring. She couldn’t stop laughing if she wanted to, and she’s sure that Christine feels the same. Christine’s eyes aren’t green out here, but black and glinting, and her teeth flash U-V white as she throws back her head, revealing a pale perfect triangle of jaw and her long, creamy throat. Her blond hair pours away in a wintry stream. She’s beautiful, scattering bright, icy trail-backs into the night. Into this magical, fizzing, promising night, that’s filled with light…

    The streetlamps all have shimmering gold halos and many of the tall, grey houses have Christmas trees, lit Christmas trees, in their big bay windows. They’re twinkling red and green and purple and blue, and the air, Nicola thinks, it’s so pure, though it still smells like smoky bacon!

    She laughs then, even harder, loving the sudden hot lines of tears that come slipping and sliding and sparkling down her face. She’s glowing; she knows it. There are little lights, little whirling stars, inside her. It was Christine who put them there, Christine who gave them to her when she handed her that pill.

    “Christine! Happy New Year!”The Dawning, cover.

  • Coming up – Refining Your Novel

    My next course for Writing East Midlands begins on January 12th at Nottingham’s Waterstones.  ‘Refining Your Novel’ will run over six Saturdays, from 1 till 3pm.

    During the course, we’ll be playing with editing techniques and exercises.  We’ll be delving more deeply into themes and imagery, and consider powerful openings and satisfying endings.

    We’ll also look into the practicalities of submitting to agents and publishers, including how to produce an effective synopsis.

    Suitable for writers who attended ‘Beginning Your Novel’ and to any other writers who’d like to hone or push or shake up their novel in progress…

  • Novel News!!

    Thrilled to pieces having just signed a contract with the lovely Eyrie Press – my fourth novel will be out next year!!  Further details coming soon…

  • Your Neighbour’s Packages

    Have just returned from an amazing Halloween writing retreat, brilliantly tutored by the incredible Nicholas Royle and Tom Fletcher, at Moniack Mhor (go, go, go on one of their courses,  if you can!) to a delivery of Dark Lane, Volume 7.  The anthology includes my short story, ‘Your Neighbour’s Packages’ – and was rather appropriately taken in for me by the people next door 🙂

  • Beginning Your Novel

    My next 5 week course for Writing East Midlands – ‘Beginning your Novel’ – starts at 1pm on Saturday, 27th October at Nottingham’s Waterstones.  During our workshops, we’ll be using playful exercises and published examples to develop a deeper understanding of essential fiction elements such as character, setting, point of view and structure – and we’ll start putting them into practise…

    I’ll be on BBC Radio Nottingham tomorrow (3rd October) around 2pm, talking to Alan Clifford about the course and my writing generally.

    (And I’m not at all scared – honestly ;-))

  • Short Story September

    I feel incredibly honoured to be included among the featured writers for Dahlia Publishing’s brilliant Short Story September.

    If you’ve missed it so far, it’s not too late to get involved.  As well as highlighting stories from incredible authors like Leone Ross, Angela Readman, Courttia Newland, Alison Moore, Sarah Hall and many, many more (I know! I know!), the project aims to get as many people writing short stories as possible, offering challenges, opportunities, prompts, advice and giveaways.

    You can sign up at http://shortstoryseptember.co.uk/

    Or follow @dahliabooks on Twitter, throughout September