I’m very pleased and proud to have been asked to curate the book events for this year’s SICK! Festival.

SICK! is a multi-artform festival dedicated to revealing and debating our most urgent physical, mental and social challenges.

This year it is running simultaneously in Brighton and Manchester, and each weekend there will be a themed book event in each city.

If you are nearby, please do come along – we’ve booked some fantastic writers – from novelists to memoirists, academics, graphic novelists and professional practitioners.

The discussions are bound to be wide-ranging and provocative.

The Schedule is:

Weekend 1: SEX and SEXUALITY:

In front of the Children

Does the easy online accessibility of pornography pose a threat to young people? Does it stand in the way of developing a healthy attitude to love and sex, or does it provide useful information for beginners? These panels bring together writers with wide-ranging interests in sex and sexuality for a full and frank discussion.

Saturday  7 March, Brighton:

Dialogue expert Karl James interviews Cliterati founder Emily Dubberley, graphic novelist Gareth Brookes and founding co-editor of the Routledge journal Porn Studies, Feona Attwood.
Full details

Sunday 8 March, Manchester.

Founder and host of London’s award-winning LGBT literary salon Polari, Paul Burston interviews prize-winning novelist Jonathan Kemp, Emma Jane Unsworth, author of the highly acclaimed novel Animals, and founding co-editor of the Routledge journal Porn Studies, Clarissa Smith.
Full details

Weekend 2: ABUSE

Baring the Scars

Books about painful lives sell. What is it that makes us so hungry to read these stories? And what compels authors to write them? These panels include writers who have survived abuse, novelists for whom abuse surfaces as a theme, and clinicians and academics who deal with it  both in writing and their daily practice.

Saturday 14 March, Brighton

Dialogue expert Karl James interviews memoirist, journalist, broadcaster and salonist Damian Barr, graphic novelist Katie Green and professor, writer, broadcaster and  Clinical Psychologist Tanya Byron.
Full details

Sunday 15 March, Manchester

Novelist, broadcaster and journalist Laura Lockington interviews psychotherapist, broadcaster and Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland Colm O’Gorman, award-winning crime novelist Elizabeth Haynes, Journalist and Jimmy Savile biographer Dan Davies and graphic novelist Una.
Full details

Weekend 3: SUICIDE

Is it Catching?

In 1974 the sociologist David Phillips coined the term The Werther Effect, after the hero of a novel by Goethe supposedly inspired copycat suicides. Can talking about suicide really result in contagion? These panels bring together academics, writers who work with people suffering from depression, novelists who deal with the subject, and those who write about the subject from the point of view of the depressed.

Saturday 21 March, Brighton

I interview novelist, playwright and academic Hannah Vincent, reader in Narrative Mental Health at the University of Brighton, Alec Grant, and novelist and author of  How to Stay Alive, an account of his experience of depression, Matt Haig.
Full details

Sunday 22 March, Manchester

I interview graphic novelist Darryl Cunningham, GP and graphic novelist Ian Williams and former psychiatric nurse and novelist Mark A Radcliffe.
Full details

Edinburgh Here I Come


During the Festival Fringe we have regularly rented a house or flat in some cheaper part of Edinburgh to accommodate family, friends and company members while my husband Tim puts on a show at the Traverse.

This means a part of my August has often been spent in a mad rush of shows, . . . → Read More

Blog Review Round Up

Some of the quotes. Click on the image to enlarge it

Tonight is the launch party for The Long Fall. I’m too excited to write today, so instead here’s a round up of all the lovely bloggers’ reviews so far. I have been completely knocked out by the support of the blogging community – not . . . → Read More

Blog Tour Day Seven: Extract

Well, we’re exhausted after the geographically challenging but enormously exciting Long Fall Blog Tour. It’s going to take weeks to recover!

The final stop off is in rural Herefordshire at  Chocolate Chunky Munkie, blog of Jenny, 34. Her favourite genres are Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Dystopian, Vampires and Shape Shifters, but luckily she . . . → Read More

Blog Tour Day Six: Dos and Don’ts

Sorry, this should have been posted yesterday. I was in York, though, doing a panel for the Festival of Ideas, ten days of over 120 mostly free events,with talks from world-class speakers, performances, exhibitions and interactive experiences for people of all ages.

I was talking about fly fishing.

Not really. I was talking about crime . . . → Read More

Blog Tour Day Five: Extract

My friend Ms Emma Kilbey finds a particularly shocking passage…

After a serene, heatwave-smoothed passage back home across the Irish sea, today’s Blog Tour stopoff is Erin’s Choice.

Erin is 23, and loves books. Her favourite genre is chick lit, but thankfully she can sometimes be persuaded to read the odd bit of crime fiction, . . . → Read More

Blog Tour Day 4: My Top Five


So, to celebrate publication day, the blog tour stops off today at The Madwoman in the Attic, A great blog by Lisa D in Ireland. Lisa is a book obsessive, and writes for websites, print and radio. History is her passion and she’s currently working on a novel set, like The Long Fall, in . . . → Read More

Blog Tour Day 3: GIVEAWAY!

This is not a watercolour! It’s my photograph of the actual view from a beach in Ikaria.

Today, the Long Fall Blog Tour van stops off at The Book Trail, with a great article about the travelling aspect in the book and a giveaway.

Born out of a love of books and travel, The . . . → Read More

Blog Tour Day 2: About the cover

Today’s blog tour stops off at From First Page to Last. This fantastic blog is the brainchild of Janet, who says of herself:

I’m…a 36 year old, wife to one, mum to two. I work in legal publishing, so I spend all day reading legislation.  I have a thing for reading and so I . . . → Read More

Blog Tour Day 1

Although it seems like only yesterday that I bought a new frock for the launch of Tarnished, I’ve got to go out shopping again, because it’s publication week for my next novel, The Long Fall. 

But it’s not all about the frocks. So here’s a bit about the book:

The central question for me when I started . . . → Read More