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Outside the leaves on the trees constricted slightly; they were the deep done green of the beginning of autumn. It was a Sunday in September. There would only be four. The clouds were high and the swallows would be here for another month or so before they left for the... read more

Are you still a writer if you’re not writing?

I was going to write a post about not writing, and not really having written any thing much this year when I discovered this post from August 2010: ‘In July I spent two weeks in the Algarve. Wonderful! Blue, blue sky, hot sunshine day after day (bliss after the dismal... read more

Evesham Festival of Words Days 2 and 3

Better late than never! I had intended to post this last week, but events intervened. The festival is not as fresh in my memory now, so I hope I can convey what a brilliant two days they were, and this will only cover the events I was involved with. Others,... read more

Evesham Festival of Words – Day One

So, the Evesham Festival of Words, which I’ve mentioned on the blog before, came and went in a three-day blur of wonderful events, and brief pauses for sleep and sustenance! I think I can definitely say it was a triumph. This is my story of the weekend, or at least... read more

Literary events

I know you’re supposed to have a provocative question as the title of your blog post in order to get more people to view the post, but at the moment I’m all out of provocative questions. (Think perhaps we’ve all had enough of those over the last week to keep... read more

Venice & The Broken Road

I can’t believe how long it is since I last wrote my blog – a combination of not writing very much at the moment, lots of other writing (and non-writing!) related activities, and a trip to Venice! Although I only managed nine days this year, the visit inevitably brought back... read more

Happy Birthday Unravelling!

Unravelling, my first novel, is six years old! Although I’ve published two more novels since then, I find it almost impossible to believe that this journey started six years ago. Copies of Unravelling on Launch Day: Since then Unravelling has done some wonderful things – lots of people have bought... read more

Don’t disturb me – I’m not writing!

I’ve been busy with writing-related things recently: helping to organise the Evesham Festival of Words, editing the file for the Festival’s anthology of the winners and shortlisted writers’ stories, compiling interviews for The Short Story, starting teaching a new ten-week course on the short story etc etc. And I’m about... read more

The Short Story

Hello everyone! I haven’t been around much recently. I could blame all the projects I’m involved with or I could blame lethargy and apathy. Or it might be a different reason altogether because I’m an unreliable narrator. I’ll leave you to decide which is the truth! Whatever the reason for... read more

‘Don’t Upset the Reader’

I’ve been conditioned since I did my MA not to upset the reader. Don’t write about unlikeable characters. Don’t write about characters doing things that most of us wouldn’t do. Don’t be too emotional. Don’t write unhappy endings. Don’t be too obvious – or too subtle. Messy situations are okay,... read more