Fragment #1 The Jacket

It was bought for Harry’s christening. Sharp darts in the waist and a slippery blue lining. Mum kept it at the back of the wardrobe, shielded in a cover. Black makes anything look smart. A baked late-September day; the interview. Perched at the back of the bus, the hum of the engine vibrated sweat into […]

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Supermoon

  Tonight the moon was huge. There was a tweet, an article on my feed, a pop up ad. Don’t miss it. Scuttling out into leaf-speckled roads, I looked. Peered between the dark branches of chimneys, stretched my eyes to look beyond the splashes of brightness dropped from streetlights. Something was glowing behind the house […]

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Lessons from YA Books

Having read several dystopian novels lately (see my thoughts here) I decided to try a YA version, to see how they compared. I was pleasantly surprised. While I’m incredibly wary of genre-specific snobbery, I confess I am subject to a bit of it when it comes to the YA genre. The books that I’ve read […]

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Short Story – The Fragrance of Blood

She lets the sun touch her through the window. Dips her head, past the dark line drawn on the table, sits her face into the sharp heat. Magnified warmth. It could be Ghana outside – thick orange dust, women piling yellow fruits. Amplify the squawk of a hedge-bird, it could be a gull – clawing […]

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Y: The Last Man – Book Review

I know I’m massively behind the times in reading this, but as I’m currently working on a similar narrative, several people recommended this graphic novel as a good place to look at how a gender-imbalanced dystopia played out. Interesting ideas, some lessons learned, and a few pitfalls to avoid. On a day in 2002, a […]

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On Finishing a First Draft

It is done. I have typed the last word, finished the last scene, put my (relatively) new characters to bed. In celebration of this, I wanted to share some piece that I figured someone would have written about how great it was to have accomplished this. Alas, I was wrong. All of the posts I found […]

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The Versions of Us

A very interesting concept – three possible outcomes for the same couple. We’ve all questioned the ‘what ifs’ in our lives, so this novel has a go at unpicking the actual outcomes of decisions made over the span of an entire lifetime. What keeps you flicking the pages in this book (and I did read […]

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An Instruction

His breathing labours over my shoulder, huffing out breath perfumed with ham and disappointment. My hands clunk over the keys, slip off the C sharp, snag on the C. I can feel the wince behind me. Eight bars to go. I stretch out the middle finger, labouring too long in the shift in chords on the […]

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Characters we Love to Hate

I’m far more tolerant in fiction than in the real world. Hours of page-turning will be spent on characters I thoroughly despise, who wouldn’t last more than a few minutes in conversation or who would get a quick ‘delete’ from my social media if they expressed similar views. Or possibly an extensive reply under an […]

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The Self-Conscious Writer (Review of The Blind Assassin)

Ah, I love the holidays. I’ve been putting off reading The Blind Assassin for ages, simply because I despaired at how long it would take me to read, never mind the extra weight it would add to my bag. A combination of relaxing holiday time, a six-hour train journey to France and a bad back […]

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