Cake and catch-up during Lockdown

Got a cup of something? Tea, or something stronger? Have some cake. I just baked it yesterday. I dropped in too much vanilla essence and had to substitute the self-raising flour… But it’s still good, I promise. Hasn’t this strange period felt like it’s lasted forever? We’ve been in pretty much total lockdown since March,…

Composite Creatures – my debut novel in 2021

The cat is OFFICIALLY out of the bag! I couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that my debut novel, Composite Creatures, will be published by Angry Robot on May 11th 2021. I’ve been keeping my lip buttoned on this one since the beginning of the year, but now that it’s out there in The Bookseller,…

Everything you need to know about using beta readers

I’m getting very close now to the point when I’ll send my current book out to a motley gang of beta readers (you know who you are!), and I have to wait for their feedback. It’s make or break time. I never used to understand how important this part of the process was. I wasn’t…

Doldrums, goose, multiverse, crow

Do you have any favourite words? There must be research out there to say why we love our favourite words so much. Is it the sound, the tingle on the tongue, the memories evoked, or the possibilities unearthed? These are four of my favourites. And they describe my little world perfectly right now. Let me…

A creature of routine

I’ve been struggling to know what to add, since the world turned into an episode of Black Mirror. I’ve been on Twitter a lot in the past couple of weeks, and there’s a whole community of people who’re making the best of this bad situation and those that are sharing their lowest points. We’re all…

How to write a character personality

Writing a character personality for your story, novel, or script is a key part of bringing your words to life. It’s the protagonist at the heart of the story that will make your readers want to keep going, to follow them to the end point. Think about a book you’ve read or film you’ve seen…

Little Quakes Every Day – release date confirmed for 2020

I’ve been SO EXCITED to share this – and as my poetry publisher knows – I can get pretty darn excitable when I have news to share. So here goes… I can officially confirm that my next fully poetry collection, Little Quakes Every Day, will be released on 9th November this year (2020, for retrospective…

How I feel about 2020

I’m loving reading people’s decade in review blogs. It’s lovely to see how people have changed and grown, but of course they’re not all happy stories. Over the last few weeks I was debating doing one myself, but decided against it. Too much has changed, and it’s better to focus on today than yesterday or…

Why it’s ok to stop

This month’s blog is late, but for good reason. When something happens, something deep and changing, it’s difficult to focus. Difficult to concentrate. As someone that writes for a living every day, writes for pleasure, writes for the sheer love of it – I’ve barely set a word down in a month. And that’s ok….

Mindfulness for writers | How to try mindful writing

I’m a huge advocate for mindfulness in all walks of life, not just writing. Everyone can benefit from the sense of calm instigated by yoga, or the self-awareness prompted by meditation. But what’s the relationship between mindfulness and writing? And how can we start to produce mindful writing? What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the awareness…