I tell the life stories of amazing* people I’d love you to get to know. I do this by writing books and giving talks. My first biography was about Beatrice Cadbury, the radical daughter of the Bournville chocolate empire. (More…) I’m just starting another book – the equally compelling story of a very important socially-minded industrialist. More info on this coming soon!
[*amazing = describing those people who challenge industry and society to be fairer, more peaceful and just.]
My latest novel Comforts For The Troops is a fact-inspired story about three women working at Cadburys during WW1.
I also write short stories, usually with contemporary settings. The Hills and the Fortune won a prize in the Happenstance Short Story competition in 2009 and you can buy it for 99p here on Gumroad. (All proceeds to the charity, Refuge.) Or sit back, relax and listen to a reading of The Last Train to Soller, narrated by actor and writer Geoff Mills. My latest story Ruby Cufflinks can be found in The Sea in Birmingham anthology of 22 stories, celebrating 30 years of Tindal Street Fiction Group.
I draw on my professional background in ELT and write graded readers for the Cengage series, Page Turners. These are original, pacy stories of 10-20,000 words for learners of EFL – a bit like the Quick Reads series.
Speaking and teaching
I am a professional speaker and have spoken at over 100 events in the last three years – ranging from festivals, libraries, clubs and membership societies. I also do a limited number of creative writing workshops. The Events tab will explain more clearly what I do as well as giving my calendar for 2015-16.
These days I use my blog mainly for news updates but you may enjoy browsing the archives, especially if you’re a new or emerging writer. Here are some of my most popular blog posts.
- Interview with Carole Angier about writing biographies: Part 1 and Part 2 .
- Interview with Vanessa Gebbie on writing short stories.
- It’s the moment of truth: when your characters has an epiphany.
- Building an author website Part 1 and Part 2.
- Why you shouldn’t worry if networking makes you timid.