Category Archives: On Writing

Something very peculiar is happening to me at the moment. I am being haunted. For real. But not by a ghost. By a phantom smell. Yes, really. Apparently, this is an actual thing. Being pestered by a smell that isn’t there. It even has a name. Phantosmia. Which sounds very pretty and glamorous, like the… Continue Reading

Last week was Henley Literary Festival and what a week it was! It’s one of my favourite weeks in the calendar. It’s always sunny and seeing my hometown transformed into a bustling hotbed of literary gorgeousness is a joy. The programme this year was even bigger and broader than previous years. From Anita Anand talking… Continue Reading

It’s always a nerve-wracking time when you first see the artwork for your book. An author has lived with their book – the story, the characters, the themes, the essence of the idea, the emotions invoked while you write – for many months, or in the case of In Her Wake, my next book, years…. Continue Reading

I was delighted to be asked to be part of Hayley Webster’s online literary festival. She is an incredibly fine writer of a book I adore, Jar Baby, and she and I have been Twitter buddies for a while now. She makes me laugh and she is clever and she has a heart of gold… Continue Reading

It’s my gran’s funeral today. The whole family are together, going through photographs, preparing food and drink for after the service, sharing stories and hugs. I found this poem in a pile of papers. My mum says Gran wrote it a few years ago (she was 99 when she died last week). It’s about, erm,… Continue Reading

Lest We Forget Those souls sent brave and marching proud, King and Country ring in youthful ear. Smiles and waves and cheery hope Off to cast their crowns in glory. Boys. Just boys. Lest we forget. Their beating hearts and coursing blood, Passion flames and love untapped. Channelled in their virtuous stride To mists unknown… Continue Reading

I first published this recipe a couple of years back, but have decided to repost it as it seems apt for this moment in time as I am currently trying to write Book Three. Obviously it’s proving tricky, but hopefully things will work out. After all, I have everything I need – the ingredients of the book… Continue Reading

This looks like it might be becoming a ‘thing’. This Author Talking thing. It makes sense, of course. Nobody talks more than I do. This was actually proven* in a Swiss science lab in 2003 by a team of TOP sciencey dudes with white hair and PhDs in the Study of Talkology. So talking to… Continue Reading

Julie Cohen and I have a few things in common. We both went to the same college at university, we both live in Reading (or near enough), we’re both writers, we both think Cillian Murphy is a bit fit. She is also a woman and we’re about the same height. There are differences though. She… Continue Reading

The Judas Scar came out on May 1st and since then I have answered lots of questions on it, written blog posts and a few articles, and seen many (lovely) reviews. Lots has been said on the dark themes that run through it – the bullying, the repercussions of childhood trauma on adulthood, the effects… Continue Reading


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