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Launch | Spike Island, Bristol | 20 April

Launch | Spike Island, Bristol | 20 April

23 March 2017

If you live in the Bristol area, please come along to a little launch event for my book The Last Wave at Spike Island on 20 April, 6.30 - 8pm.

You'll be amongst the first to have a chance to purchase the novel!

There will be a short talk, a bit of a reading, some Qs, maybe some And a bit of mingling, some chat... it'll be lovely and won't be the same without you. 

 


Cover artwork

Cover artwork

07 March 2017

I love this cover. It's not how I pictured it in my mind when I was writing it, it's way better. This jumps out at you - so much so that some friends I've shown it to are asking for posters.

The good folks at House of Anansi commissioned it for the Canadian/US cover. But my UK publisher, Freight Books have scrapped their cover art to use it because it's so freaking beautiful.

 

 


House of Anansi - North American rights sold

16 January 2017

Exciting news!

House of Anansi will be publishing The Last Wave in North America! The exact date is 26 August 2017, and I must say I'm utterly thrilled. 

There's nothing better than having your book come out at home, so your Mom can go to the shop and buy it and talk the cashier's ear off about how it's her daughter who wrote it. 

Sarah MacLachlan, Publisher at award-winning House of Anansi said, ‘this is a very accomplished debut. I loved how the novel was layered and how the point of view was multiple. The descriptions of the sea and of long distance swimming are simply gorgeous. I love the idea of a character who is a distance swimmer — in Canada we have a history of great women swimmers – Marilyn Bell was the first person to swim across Lake Ontario and then the youngest to swim the English Channel.’

You can read more about the sale here

 


Book deal!

11 October 2015

It's hard to explain how excited and thrilled I am to be able to say that my first novel will be published by Freight Books. After the End of England will be coming to a book shop near you in Spring 2017. 

More updates to follow, but for now I have to continue jumping for joy and shrieking with excitement. 


Number Eleven Magazine

20 May 2015

Has published a short story I wrote called Coming Home! 

Number Eleven is a new online literary journal that publishes short stories, flash fiction, graphic novel artwork and illustrations. It's published quarterly. 

This story is taken from my novel after the end of england

You should go to Number Eleven's site and have a read!


Write Idea 2014 - Longlisted

14 October 2014

I am pleased to say that a short story taken from the novel I have recently finished was longlisted for the Write Idea 2014 Short Story prize, part of East London's reading festival.

The story I submitted is called The Tide Turned, and focuses on Martha who is coming to terms with her husband's dementia. 

 


Next novel - finished

13 June 2014

I'm pleased to say that I've just finished another book, After the End of England.

I wrote this one in a very different way. Whereas normally I would spend months planning the story out, with this one, I wrote it chapter by chapter with no set idea of what was going to happen before I started writing.

The novel was inspired by a short story that was inspired by a painting a friend of mine did. And over the course of the winter, I sent him chapters as I wrote them, also unusual as I don't normally let anybody read my work until I'm certain it's finished. It was an interesting and very freeing way of working and I'm quite pleased with the results.

After the End of England is a love story to the sea. Set it Dover, it is told using split narratives though the voice of Martha Roberts and those closest to her. It explores themes of womanhood, family, relationships and community, as well as the devastating onslaught of physical and mental illness that test those caught in the undertow.

 When Martha fell off the pier in Dover, aged eight, she had no idea how it would come to shape and define her. The sea becomes the place where she first proves herself, where she demonstrates that she is remarkable, that she can make the ordinary extraordinary, where she will first attempts to swim the Channel.

 A constant companion, the seam moves in and out of view, from the 1940s to present day, from her first accidental baptism, to her last wet.

 The sea is an escape from Martha's responsibilities as a wife and mother, causing her to question her marriage, her home, and the choices she makes. The sea creates distance, separating her from her husband and children. Yet, it consoles her when she is diagnosed with cancer, and comforts her when dementia unravels her husband's mind. The sea is also a bridge, connecting her with the granddaughter she almost didn't meet.

Through the lens of Martha's life, we see the loss of one woman's position and how she reclaimed it. We see an England that was or perhaps never was. What binds the different first-person narratives is the overpowering presence of nature and time, the power of the seam to make connections and undo them over generations.