Well, I’d finished the latest draft of my novel Jacob’s Ladder, and was feeling rather smug, ready to relax and access some culture, be more sociable, do some serious gardening or just rest. But something made me think: What happened to that scene where they come back and he’s thrown all her letters away? A … More Discovery!
A new Anne Tyler is always something I look forward to. Such a consistently good author, even into her late seventies and eighties. She writes with clarity, humour and wisdom about early family relationships that form individual experiences. The image of the French braid illustrates how our lives are plaited together with our families. You … More French Braid
by Ted Hughes This house has been far out at sea all night,The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills,Winds stampeding the fields under the windowFloundering black astride and blinding wet Till day rose; then under an orange skyThe hills had new places, and wind wieldedBlade-light, luminous black and emerald,Flexing like the lens of a … More Wind
Some of the books I’ve been reading this year so far. Quite a mixture. Bernadine Evaristo to inspire me as a writer. Marian Keyes to make me laugh and to show me how to manage a complicated interlinked set of family characters. Matt Haig to offer comfort – it really does work, especially at those … More Reading & Writing
Last week I said I was going to print off my novel, Jacob’s Ladder, read it and start editing. My son had given me a printer they didn’t need and his girlfriend gave me a load of paper that was going to be recycled. The meeting of perfect circumstances? Well, at first all went well … More Printing my novel?
A quick update… I can’t believe I actually finished redrafting my second novel, Jacob’s Ladder in March 2017. Five years ago. And it’s still sitting waiting patiently to go out into the world. But of course since then I’ve finished a third novel: The River Brings The Sea and in 2020 published my debut, One … More Let’s start again
Free Love, published January 2022, covers ground that will be familiar to fans of Tessa Hadley’s consistently brilliant novels and short stories. Her skill lies in the subtle way she dissects her characters’ inner lives, exposing their fears and desires. I read an advance copy courtesy of Net Galley and wasn’t disappointed. After struggling with … More Free love
What I love about this novel is the voice – throughout the narrative Amanda Huggins captures the slow American drawl perfectly and the dialogue feels authentically American which shows a real skill. As in all her other poetry and fiction the language is spare but beautifully nuanced. Crossing the Lines began as a successful short … More Crossing the Lines by Amanda Huggins
Editing my novel… very slowly … but today I finally sorted out a chapter which has always been problematic in terms of just about everything. One part of me said just scrap it. It’ll never work. It’s far-fetched, melodramatic and unlikely. But another part, the stubborn side wouldn’t give in. So I kept going. Writing … More Progress
At the weekend I get a train from King’s Cross to visit my daughter in Leeds. It’s over two hours, so lots of time to write. Comfy seats, an efficient service and I’m ready for my cup of tea so try to use the ‘at seat’ service to magically summon the buffet car attendant to … More I’m on the train!