Friday 1 July 2016

Goodbye blogging

This blog has been dying a slow death over a number of months and I've finally decided to pull the plug on it. I don't want to maintain it as a vehicle for self-promotion, only writing anything when I finish a book or am about to do an event - I end up doing more than enough of that on Facebook. And I'm not really interested in writing about my life any more. So that's it. I'll be keeping my website up to date and, for the moment, leaving the blog like this.

Tuesday 1 March 2016

A few more reviews

Sweet Home was reissued on Thursday last week. There were some lovely reviews, including one in the Independent by Stuart Kelly and another in the Guardian by Jane Housham. Plus, very kind reviews from Vlogger Lauren Whitehead and Bloggers Janet Emson, Alix Long and Josie Barton.

A big thank you to those who took the time to read and review the stories. I really appreciate it. 

Friday 12 February 2016

January Reading

I enjoyed everything I read in January.

       A Portable Shelter

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler - I had read some less than favourable reviews of this novel, but I thought it was marvellous and loved every moment of it. When the first section concluded and I read the familiar opening line of the second section, I felt like cheering. Tyler writes families so wonderfully - every little irritation, every perceived slight and service is illuminated and examined.

Dream House on Golan Drive by David G. Pace - This novel is unashamedly Mormon. If you don't know anything about Mormonism, it may be something of a baptism of fire. If you are Mormon, you may find the detailed descriptions of the temple ceremonies somewhat disconcerting (although I must say think Pace's descriptions and depictions are sensitive). Having said that, it's a moving, compelling novel. Pace expertly depicts the restrictive and redemptive nature of family and, in a haunting final scene, melds the sacred and the profane.

A Portable Shelter by Kirsty Logan - I so enjoyed these modern fairy tales. Logan's story-telling is fluent and accomplished and her take on the Hansel and Gretel story (in her rendition a human mother finds a bear in the forest) shocked and delighted me.


I read The Reapers Are The Angels and Raising Stony Mayhall because I've been thinking about apocalypse narratives. These novels had excellent reviews so I gave them a go.

The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell - There's a really lyrical lilt to the prose in this novel which I very much enjoyed. It's a bleak and brutal story and I must confess to being disappointed in the ending (although having discussed it with my son, I have discovered that I am wrong to be disappointed), but there are some scenes that will stay with me and Temple is an engaging protagonist.

Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory - Such an interesting book. Gregory really gets to grips with what it means to be human. His characters are believable and beautifully drawn. Raising Stony Mayhall has shades of Pinocchio - inanimate child animated by love - and, later, to an extent, Frankenstein's monster.

Hope Farm by Peggy Frew - Set in a hippie commune in rural Australia this novel is a taut and riveting depiction of the natural world and the failings of human nature. I raced to the perilous, pivotal moment, desperate for thirteen year old Silver to escape physically and emotionally unscathed. Hope Farm will be published in the UK in 2016.

Tuesday 9 February 2016

Reviews of Sweet Home

Here are a couple of really lovely reviews of Sweet Home. A big thank you to Kitty G and Elena Reads Books.

Wednesday 3 February 2016

Win a copy of Sweet Home

If you'd like a chance to win a copy of Sweet Home I'm giving one away on my Facebook page. Click here and make a comment under the photograph. I'm happy to send it anywhere in the world. Good luck!

Saturday 23 January 2016

New Cover

Here's the cover of The Museum of You. There are lots of little details from the book hidden in the art work. I love it. 

Tuesday 29 December 2015


I received a proof of my new novel a few days ago. I think they've done a lovely job. I like the peep-hole bits on the cover (there's probably a technical name for them, but I don't know it) - they fit with the idea of not seeing the whole picture.

Earlier this month I turned 40. I remember embarking on a Creative Writing MA five years ago and quietly, secretly hoping that by the time I turned 40 I might have had something published. I feel so lucky to have finished my second novel this year - it's more than I could have imagined. I've been the recipient of so much kindness and patience from so many lovely people.

The thought that readers (including my husband) are beginning The Museum of You is terrifying - I thought it would be easier this time, but it isn't; maybe it's always like this (argh). Anyway, I'm taking a break from nail-biting and breath-holding, to wish everyone a happy and healthy 2016.

Sunday 27 December 2015

2015 books

In 2015 I decided to steer clear of Goodreads (the temptation to wallow in one star reviews was too great!) so I kept a visual record of my reading (or, in some cases, re-reading). I wasn't especially diligent in keeping up with it, so there are definitely some books missing (I'll add them if/when I remember what's missing), but, for now, here's what my 2015 looked like in books. 



















Image result for The Archivist (Paperback)