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The Truth about my Mother on her 75th Birthday

My mother recently celebrated her 75th Birthday and, as one of the gifts I gave her, I decided to write a poem for her. The theme of this year's National Poetry Day was TRUTH, so I used that single word as a starting point for what became my…
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The Healing Power of Story

I am nocturnally challenged. Many years ago, upon sharing this information with someone I met, he looked me in the eye and said 'Get your beloved to read to you.' I wasn't sure what my beloved would think of that, but I asked him, and he did.…
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Origami

They stand lined in precise rows on your windowsill, a riot of colour and patterned paper: cranes and standing fans, boats and masu boxes. Your fingers work deftly as you fold the origami squares, your brow furrowing in concentration in the…
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How to take a family gap year

I won runner up prize for The Green Parent writing competition 2018, talking about how we can travel responsibly with our families. Please find the article in full here.
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Where do Ideas come from?

Probably the question I get asked more than any other as an author is where my ideas come from. First of all, I'd like to debunk the myth that writers have better ideas than people who don't write. It's simply not true. It's what people…
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An Advent Calendar Poe-Tree

I had been meaning to create an advent calendar 'poe-tree' for my children for years, ever since seeing one on a children's book blog I follow. There's never going to be an easy time to do this, so I just decided to go for it this year, pulling…
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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…
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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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#FeministFebruary - A shout out from India

Virginia Woolf As February draws to a close, I am sneaking in with a quick blog post to celebrate #FeministFebruary as I only discovered its existence the other day. Coincidentally, I am reading Virginia Woolf's book A Room of One's Own (1929) at…