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Living, Coping & Writing with Chronic Insomnia

When I wrote my second novel, The Girl and the Sunbird, I would sit at a desk in my upstairs bedroom with sunbirds flitting to and fro from the foliage outside (yes, really, hence the title's inspiration), type away at my story, and cry. And…

A love letter to the public library

Public libraries have been a lifeline for me for many, many years. This poem had been brewing in my head for some time, and I finally made the space and time to sit down and write it. By a lovely sleight of serendipity, it also happens to be…

Rising above Dyslexia: One 13 year old girl's story

Maya Melesi is a thirteen year old girl living in Nairobi, Kenya. At one stage she was part of my after school creative writing club, Magic Pencil, and I was struck by her boundless enthusiasm, creativity and facility with words. Maya…
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My 5 favourite books from the first half of 2018

'Someone reading a book is a sign of order in the world.' Mary Ruefle Over the past six months as I have been travelling round India, I have been reading and reading and reading. Not that this is any different from normal, but what has been…
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Introducing Trusha Ganesh: A young Indian Writer

I am always so happy to meet another writer. Whether it's a seven year old child who is tentatively but excitedly experimenting with the power of storytelling, an older person wanting to get their stories down for posterity or somebody who plays…
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Lucy Paget: Living Bravely and Creatively

It is hard to know how to describe Lucy Paget, so wide-ranging are her skills. Perhaps polymath would be the best word for her: Writer, Osteopath, Business Owner, Yoga teacher, Nutritional Herbalist, Chef...the list goes on. Lucy has helped…

Rabindranath Tagore: Nobel Literature Prize Winner from the past

After this year's shock announcement that no Nobel prize for Literature will be awarded in 2018 due to a sexual harassment scandal (when, oh when will these scandals cease? I suppose when the perpetrators are all exposed, and that could…

Searching through the Jungle for Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling. We all know that he wrote The Jungle Book, one of the most famous pieces of children's literary works from the Victorian era, spawning of number of big screen adaptations and a plethora of jungle-based adventure stories.…
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Want to help me write a novel?

As you probably know, I'm travelling round India right now with my husband and three kids (familygappers.com)and lots of people have been asking me, will your next novel be set in India and based on your experiences? The short answer is no,…
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Why I still read aloud to my children

Its been 1.5 years since I wrote my last blog about reading aloud to children, even older children. My kids are now 11,9 & 7 and I thought I’d give an update on what we’re doing now. Well, I’m still reading to my three most nights…