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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…
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Interview with Scott Mullins from This Is Writing

An interview I did with Scott Mullins from This Is Writing is now live! Click here to read it. There were some really interesting questions which I had to think hard about, for example how I would define creativity, and what's my greatest fear…
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A Celebration of #WonderfulWomen - who do you nominate?

One week today, my second novel The Girl and the Sunbird will be published. To help celebrate this, in the week leading up to this I'm launching the #WonderfulWomen campaign. I'd LOVE for you to take part. Here's what it's all about... Think…
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What are the implications of buying 'art'?

Every artist amongst us, no matter the medium, pours love, time, hard work and hope into our creations. Last weekend, whilst staying at the magical Kitengela Glass in Nairobi, I came across this sign (sorry about the wonkiness of the photo): This…
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Interview with Author Sharon Maas

Sharon Maas' early novels were set in India, a country she has spent considerable time in and has a special connection with. Her last three novels are set in Guyana in South America where she hails from (then known as British Guiana), a fascinating…