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Novel Number Three: The cave men and women from the 1960's

There are experiences in our young lives we look back upon with a fervent fondness that the passing of time does nothing to dampen. These experiences can last for mere days, perhaps several weeks, months or even years. I'm talking about those…
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Ignite your Fiction Fire: 5 Tips for Aspiring Writers

Sometimes, trying to write and get our work out there can feel like flailing around in the dark. It can be a fraught journey, littered with the skeletons of defeated writers: I'm not good enough. I don't have time. I need to stop living in my…
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How Kenya, land of contradictions, can inspire a novel

Kenya: land of contrasts and contradictions. Of startling beauty and crippling poverty. Of sincere kindness and rotten politics. Of a thousand-hued landscapes and unyielding poaching. I've lost count of the number of times I've been caught…
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Mau Mau: The Kenyan Terrorists of the 1950's...Or were they?

The Mau Mau terrorised Kenya in the 1950's, their long, dreadlocked hair and wild eyes sending citizens up and down the country and far beyond into a frenzy of fear. Medieval-style oathing ceremonies took place, enlisting the support of the…
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"If God had meant whites and blacks to mix, he would not have placed them on different continents.” What some mixed race couples faced to be together.

One of the major themes of my second novel, The Girl and the Sunbird, is forbidden love. Mixed race relationships were once an enormous taboo and, in some parts of the world, remain so. I wanted to explore the repercussions of this in a colonial…
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Win a small treasure: The Gifts of Reading

'This story, like so many stories, begins with a gift. The gift, like so many gifts, was a book...' So begins Robert Macfarlane's masterful and luminous essay, on the gift and power of giving and receiving books. This small, beautifully bound…
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What makes writers write?

Why do writers write? Why do we plunge ourselves into the often icy waters where we can face loneliness, voices in our head that can be both liberating and disconcerting, and even exposure to ridicule? Do we chose to write, or does writing…
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Lena, Me and The Artist

I wrote this short story, Lena, Me and The Artist many years ago. It was my very first attempt at historical fiction and I've kept it exactly as I wrote it back in the day when getting anything published was a dream impossible to visualise.…
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Why engaging in poetry is a way into writing for kids

Ask a child to write a poem or ask a child to write a story. Which is less daunting? A story, on the whole, needs a beginning, middle and end. But a poem? It can be pages long. Or it can just be a few words. That's the beauty of poetry, the…
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The Girl and the Sunbird - Out Now!

So, what does it feel like to have a second novel published? It turns out, no less emotional than the first time round. Second books, compared to first, notoriously struggle. They try to live up to the first, that book you had in your bones…