Following the publication of The Locust Theorem and The Cloud Loom, the lovely folks at Fairlight Books have decided to put me in their author spotlight for the month – how very thrilling! While your over there, don’t forget to read both the stories as well, they’re completely free to read…
“It is probably best if we start with your body. I’d like you to touch yourself – on the arm, the face – somewhere where your hand can make contact with your skin. Feel it. Soft. Malleable. Our bodies are fantastically adaptable – fantastically adaptable – to external conditions. Well now, let’s think about that for a minute. Let’s think about external conditions. Where do external conditions start?” [READ THE LOCUST THEOREM]
“The rain begins with that soft, familiar sigh of release. No pitter-patter – not from this altitude – but a sense of falling with no confirmation of receipt. One long, diminishing descent. His heart sinks and he rolls over, hiding his face in the pillow for just five more seconds, trying to blot out the inevitable. The mean, repeating rainfall days stretch out behind, and into an imagined beyond, dreaded only because a cave of memory decades-long tells him it never used to be this way.” [READ THE CLOUD LOOM]
Afterwards, when the shock waves had subsided, there were only a few survivors left. In side-turned, velvet-clad seats. They cried until their breath escaped, and their plaintive, mewling noises made the theatre wish it did not have such sturdy walls, that it had not performed its pain-prolonging half-protection, but had simply let the tiny particles roll in and penetrate the oozing, fleshy bodies completely.
Happy Sunday everybody! Fantastically excited that On the Last Rebellion has been published by the lovely Sean and friends over at Open Pen!
You can’t really do excerpts for flash fiction, so here’s the first two sentence and you can find the whole 500-Word read here:
To be invaded is a penetration. If not bodily, by blade or flesh, then mentally by a wiping of history, a corrosion of culture, a banishing of the familiar. Invasion takes more than it gives, aggravates the womb of home until even the things you did not know you had are gone, after which you are left feeling empty and strangely stretched. Implanted with the residue of some other landscape.
Phew, it’s been a busy week all round, but particularly when it comes to short story news, as the beloved folks at Open Pen have just let me know they’d like to publish my flash fiction story On the Last Rebellion. It will be available ONLINE and FREE TO READ this weekend!
You will be able to have a look at it from 9AM ON SUNDAY over on the Open Pen website.
I also thoroughly recommend taking a look at their archives, as they’ve just had their big 20th issue celebrations and there’s a lot going on.
Taking to cyberspace on this cold winter’s day to give a huge shout out to Fictive Dream online literary magazine, who one week today are publishing my short story ‘Proscenium’ as part of Flash Fiction February!
I’m super proud have been selected as an author for this special short story month, and really recommend checking out their website all this month for new great stories every day.
Reading to warm your toes amongst this midwinter chill! x
Excitement levels have reached new heights, as The Locust Theorem, one of my latest short stories, is Story of the Week on Fairlight Books. If you haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, you can follow this link, or check out the snippet below…
Doctor Evans slept like the dead. She grumbled when I woke her.
‘Shh. Listen.’ I held up a hand. She rubbed her eyes, trying to make sense of the noise.
‘Where’s it coming from?’
She got up, frowning, and padded to the open window. ‘Sh*t, look at the stars.’
‘Am I dreaming?’
‘No.’ I joined her by the window, both of us staring slack-jawed at the shuddering sky.
‘What is it? I know that noise, I’ve heard it before.’
‘I think it’s teeth,’ I replied slowly. ‘Human teeth. Chattering.’
I’m totally thrilled and excited to say that my latest short story, The Locust Theorem, has just been published by Fairlight Books. It’s online, it’s free to read right here, and is a lovely bit of sci-fi fun to get you through to the weekend.
The story takes about twenty minutes to read and follows Andy Anderson, a struggling geneticist trying to come to terms with the loss of his girlfriend – and if that doesn’t grab you, here’s an excerpt:
The first indication I had that something might be wrong was the day the builders came. They had set up scaffolding outside the hotel and, as Su was passing under it, one of them dropped a knife. It sailed four floors down, point-first, straight towards Su’s face. She looked up just in time for it to hit her. There was a sharp sound, like a blade against granite, before the knife fell to the ground and clattered away across the forecourt. Su was shaken but not hurt, aside from a light red irritation that bloomed in a line down her face.
It’s a strange thing, but as a publisher and an author, I find I have to very strict about when I wear my work hat and when I wear my writer’s hat, and it’s very rare that I feel comfortable letting those two things overlap. This weekend’s London Short Story Festival was one of those occasions.
Running from Friday 18 to Sunday 21 June, this was only the Festival’s second year running. Despite this, it boasted a jam-packed programme of events and all its Masterclass workshops sold out well before it started. Events featured authors from around the world, from established masters like Ben Okri, Helen Simpson and Toby Litt to new guns like Kirsty Logan and SJ Naude. The Festival is sponsored by Spread the Word, who are keen to represent the diversity of the short story form, and this showed in the programming.
My latest short story, Dear Versailles, has been published in Issue 3 of Hark Magazine. You can read it right here on page nineteen!
There will also be a launch night on the 28th November, at the Washington Pub in Hampstead Heath. I won’t be reading this time (though I may be in the future – watch this space!) but my fangirls and I will be there, so should you!
I’m delighted to announce that my latest short story, Dear Versailles, has been accepted for publication in Issue 3 of Hark Magazine, due out later this month.
Hark is a fantastic new publication, full of liminal literarture, short stories and poems, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with them. They have a great blog too, and have just posted a set of interviews with all the Issue 3 authors, which can be found here.
There will be a launch event on the 28th November at the Washington Pub in Hampstead, which you are all very welcome to attend. I’m personally really excited that this story in particular has been selected, as it’s very close to my heart and has been a while in the mulling pot, so I really do mean it when I say I hope to see you there.
Last night, there was an excellent and most wine-fuelled literary shindig: the Kilburn Literary Festival Flash Fiction Competition reading and public vote.
What a night. So many wonderful and entertaining stories, lots of talented writers in one room. I am very proud that I got to be one of them and, not only that, but also to have won the 3rd Prize for my entry, Until Then, Sister. Thank you so much to Toni Green read my flash fiction piece out so beautifully and congratulations to fellow-wordsmith Jade Summer on 1st Prize!
Don’t forget the Kilburn Literary Festival is still on for a few more days, so if you’re a lit bunny, do go and check out their upcoming events.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am thrilled to announce that I have been selected as a finalist for the inaugural Kilburn Literary Festival Flash Fiction Competition!
My entry, Until Then, Sister, has been selected as one of twelve finalists, each one coming to no more than five hundred words. There will be an event on 30th October for anyone who wants to come and hear the stories, which will be read out by professional actors. What’s more, the audience then gets to vote on the winner. That’s right – gulp! – it is that most feared of all things: a public vote!
So come along, hear some stories, vote some votes, and have a gosh-darn literary evening.
For more information, visit the Kilburn Literary Festival website right here.
Yesterday saw a landmark event for any author: my first public reading. I read out the first few pages of The Yellow Moth, which was recently published on the cover of OpenPen Magazine, Issue 11.
Almost everything about the event went wrong: my mother was late, her partner went for a wander and got lost, the roof fell in on the venue an hour before the shindig began, nobody could get through to anyone else about it. But, by a mix of serendipity and enthusiasm, we all managed to find seats in the trendy cellar of a really cute pancake house. My mother’s partner resurfaced, a spot was found to park the car, people figured out where we were and I discovered the best gluten-free pancakes in North-East London!
Very exciting news, everybody: for the first time ever, one of my short stories is going to be published in a proper, grown-up literary journal! Even better, it’s been selected as the Cover Story!
The Yellow Moth, which is about a small girl having her first existential crisis, will be published in Open Pen Magazine, Issue 11, and will be available in all the best kind of independent bookshops in print. There will be an event to celebrate the Issue 11 launch and words in general on April 10th from 7pm, where I will be doing a reading with great amounts of nervousness.
A small sneak-peek of The Yellow Moth is available here on the Open Pen website, but if you want more, I’ve posted a few paragraphs below as well.