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Also coming up…

Maintaining Your Novel’s Flow and Structure, 16th July, from 6.30pm

A two-hour workshop at Nottingham Writers’ Studio, in which I’ll be offering exercises and advice about attempting to maintain a sense of perspective while writing your novel, keeping in mind an overview, while also balancing quieter moments with tension.

And in August, I’ll be leading two creative writing courses for Nottingham Trent University’s Summer School. Start Writing your Novel will run over three days, 10am-4pm, from August 5th, and Short Story Success will take place over the next two days, from August 8th.

I’m very much looking forward to it all…

Fiction in Newark

I’ll be providing a Fiction Masterclass (!) – where I’ll be reading, talking about my writing and providing a workshop on Thursday 11th July, from 7pm, at Carriages Café in Newark.  All the evening’s proceeds will be going to the excellent local charity, Think Children

Update – what a warm and welcoming night it was! Thank you to the beautiful Carriages Café and to Weathervane Press and to all the great people who came along. Most of all, enormous thanks to Think Children, such an amazing and essential charity.

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.

It’s That Time of the Year…

The Dawning, cover.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!”

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…