Category: Uncategorized

Digital Discussions of the Cymera Kind

Many things have had to change this year and book festivals up and down the country are embracing the technological world to ensure the ‘show must go on’. Cymera, the UK’s only horror, fantasy and sci-fi writing festival, is one of them. I was delighted to be involved in this new approach to festival event chairing. Gone were the pre-event green room chats replaced with an introductory wave at my camera, a quick hello and introduction of the panel and the red Button of Destiny confirmed we were live and recording! As those who know me will confirm, I quite


Why Are You Sleeping?

Picture the scene. You’ve spent all day wrestling with a chapter in your latest story. You’re finally happy with the page turns, the way the characters interact and the scenes depicted. A moment of bliss, you say to yourself as you turn off your device. You smile as you get ready to turn in for the night, knowing that tomorrow brings with it a new chapter, a new reason for your character to eat marshmallows or whatever it is that makes them happy enough to embrace where you are taking them next. The lights go out and you begin to


How I Measure Success

If you’d asked me this time last year how I measure success, I probably would’ve said something along the lines of surviving my eldest turning 15, getting an agent and consequently going out on sub, preparing to chair events at the UK’s first ever Sci-fi, Fantasy and Horror Writing Festival and so many other literary happenings that filled my life. I was happy and finally achieving things on my bucket list that had previously seemed so far out of reach. Fast forward a year and so many things have changed. I don’t want to make this post about C-19 and


Kids – telling it how it is

There is a saying that you should never work with children or animals. I’m not sure my lazy, sleepy, hunting-too-many-mice-for-me cats are anything to compare to the felines that ‘they’ might be referring to or the fact that I was surrounded by siblings when I was growing up which was a lot of fun, so I’m not quite sure I agree. However, in my first ever steps into the school environment as a creative, I was asked to talk about writing to some of the senior pupils from Kinghorn Primary School. What could possibly go wrong? I wasn’t nervous, for


What’s the ‘What if’ you’re looking for?

Onwards through the gloop of words that’s moulded from my thoughts, making a mess on the page that was once pristine. The sharp capitals and the curly vowels remind me of homework times from not that long ago but with less concentration and for some reason they liked apple rice cakes as a reward. The pages stick to all that touch them, the blank lines awaiting letters from brain to finger tip as I sweep the crumbs off the dining table that is my makeshift ‘writer’s cave’. Just the one more hob-nob I kid myself as I put the kettle


Going Back to My Roots

Clearing out the attic I found a pile of vinyls that belonged to my parents. The Beatles, Billy Jo Spears, The Drifters and an interesting collection of children’s songs with LP covers that would induce nightmares at a glance – Pinky & Perky anyone? I had no idea that a cardboard sleeve containing a plastic circle could conjure up so many memories but when I held one I was immediately transported back to the 70s/80s when my mum and dad said to their friends ‘just come back to ours’. Pineapples & pickles on sticks and a plethora of never-seen-before nibbles

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