Posts

When a novel sprouts wings and takes flight

Last June I went to a writing course in Wales. My current novel, at that point, was at its fairly early thinking stages and one afternoon I sat in an old barn enthusiastically telling the tutor (a writer I really admire) my ideas for the book.…
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How to start a new novel

I finished writing The River Days of Rosie Crow a pretty long time ago now. Before that gem of a Christmas present knocked at my door of agent representation back in December, I was spending my time - A LOT of time - sending that novel off…

Shirley Read-Jahn: Life, Writing, Illustrating, Dancing & Parkinson's Disease

Shirley Read-Jahn is an old friend or, more accurately, an old friend of my mother's who I've also come to know and love over the years. If you've read my third novel The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale, you'll remember that my protagonist…

Once a Little Bird Told Me

I have been teaching creative writing to a child called Carina, aged 7, for about a year and a half now. Even writing that sentence gives me pause for thought, because can creative writing actually be taught? Well, I prefer to think of it as…
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Friday Night Drinks with A Little Book Problem

It was really fun to be interviewed by Julie Morris, book blogger of 'A Little Book Problem'. Like my previous interview with Jill of Jill's Book Cafe, there were some great questions provided by Julie, such as which two famous people I'd invite…
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Five on Friday with Jill's Book Cafe Blog

I loved these unusual questions I was asked by Jill Doyle of Jill's Book Cafe Blog, such as what are my top 5 pieces of music, 5 things I can't live without and 5 pieces of advice I'd give to my younger self. It was really fun and thought-provoking…

Big Girls Do Cry...A Lot

I am delighted to welcome on to the blog today Mphilo Mauncho, a twenty-year old student who lives in Nairobi, Kenya. In the following piece - Big Girls Do Cry - A Lot - Mphilo writes courageously about identity, belonging and the creative…

Books & Memories: How a book is not just about the story but where it's read

I started thinking about the title of this blog recently when I was looking through my bookshelf and pulling books out and I realised something: as I held the book in my hand, not only was I reading the title of the book and the author but…
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Dipping into Novel #4, The River Days of Rosie Crow

Despite lockdown-kids-at-home-all-day-slow-progress (!), I've been working really hard on my novel, The River Days of Rosie Crow, and I'm over half way through the first draft. I thought it was about time I gave you a small peek into the…
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A Letter to my Future Grandchildren

Dear Ones, You will ask me stories about what it was like during the time of the virus, just as I asked my own grandparents about the war. I will tell you how at first I didn’t take it too seriously; none of us did. We listened, baffled,…