A Sense of Place

Reuben Powell Claydon House Heygate Estate

Claydon House, Heygate Estate, by Reuben Powell. For more of his work, go to Hotel Elephant http://hotelelephantgallery.blogspot.co.uk/

When I’m thinking of a new story, I usually start with a ‘what if’ question – what if you couldn’t remember parts of your childhood? (Tarnished) ‘What if, sixteen years down the line, you bumped into the man you nearly left your husband for (indeed, your own personal ‘what if’) and you still had that deep chemistry thing going on?’ (Every Vow You Break), or ‘What if your husband died and his lover hung around in your life, claiming in no uncertain terms that you owed her something?’ (Her Husband’s Lover).… read more

The Write Songs on Radio Reverb

Here is the full programme I recorded with Gilly Smith a few weeks ago. For more information on the songs I chose, please see yesterday’s post. For the playlist without the chat, go to Monday’s post.

For more Write Songs episodes, with fantastic writers such as Mick Jackson, Sharon Duggal, Mark Chase, Jed Novick, William Shaw, Rebecca Whitney, Sally O’Reilly and Mark Radcliffe, please visit Gilly Smith on Soundcloud.

read more

Her Husband’s Lover Playlist – Why

In which I explain my reasoning behind choosing the playlist I posted yesterday:

playlist-composite


Straight to You

Nick Cave

As part of writing Her Husband’s Lover, I wrote what I now see as a ‘warm up novel’.

This novel is now filed in ‘strong but wrong’. It strayed into a dark, dystopian territory – too far for me. It wasn’t time wasted though – I took certain parts and brought them forward into the ‘right’ novel, and am refashioning a lot of the discarded scraps into something quite different.… read more

Her Husband’s Lover Playlist

Last month, I was invited to put together a playlist of songs that inspired Her Husband’s Lover. This was for a great local radio programme – The Write Songs, hosted on Radio Reverb by Gilly Smith. Here is the playlist. Tomorrow I’ll talk about the reasoning behind the choices, and later this week I’ll link to the radio programme. Enjoy!

read more

CUCKOO – just 99p

cuckoo_cover_final

My first novel Cuckoo is an Amazon Kindle daily deal today, Saturday 27 August. Buy it now for just 99p.

Rose has it all – the gorgeous children, the husband, the beautiful home. But then her best friend Polly comes to stay.

Very soon, Rose’s cosy world starts to fall apart at the seams – her baby falls dangerously ill, her husband is distracted – is Polly behind it all?

It appears that once you invite Polly into your home, it’s very difficult to get her out again…

A brilliant debut novel… a riveting and spooky story that keeps your eyes locked on the page, and leaves you feeling shaken and out of sorts  Heat Magazine, March 1st, 2011

 … read more

Possibly the most glamorous thing I have done as a writer….

Bassano4_463286a

I am helping my parents move out of their home of 40 years. You’d think that would be hard work, but it appears that if you choose the full pack and move option as they have, it actually mostly involves sunning myself in a Cambridgeshire garden whilst Pickfords men around me toil. So I am amusing myself by looking forward to possibly the most glamorous thing I have done as a writer, ever.

The marvellous The Bookish Supper Salon and Dadaprojects are taking me and a wonderful group of bookish types to Bassano del Grappa and Verona on 29 April for a long weekend of cooking, eating, drinking, sightseeing, reading, and talking about books.… read more

Adapt and Survive – me and the #RTYDS

with Farnham Youth Theatre, about 1988. (I'm centre back). The production was Stephen Lowe's Touched.

with Farnham Youth Theatre, about 1988. (I’m centre back). The production was Stephen Lowe’s Touched. They’re in 1940s costume. I’m in 1980s.

If you have read my bio, you’ll have noticed that I have had what might kindly be called a portfolio career. This is a feature of the lives of many writers – not many of us manage to start earning money with our very first words. It also happens to many people who become parents, too – particularly the women parents – as we seek ways to allow our work and family lives to function more effectively.… read more

NaNoWriMo: are you lost?

IMG_5620

It’s day ten of NaNoWriMo, and if you are keeping to the ideal daily word count of 50,000/30=1670, you will be approaching the 20k mark. If so, congratulations!

I started my first two novels with NaNo, and have sped each of the others on in November. Sadly, I’m not doing it this year – I’ve just handed in the second draft of my next one and really need to have a bit of a brain defrag before I embark on the next project.… read more