The Museum of Everything

What makes the perfect classroom? Ask twenty different teachers and they will give you twenty different answers. Some will prioritise seating; others, resources; my favourite kind of teacher will favour a well-stocked class library (of course!). But when it comes right down to it, all their answers will point in the same direction: the perfect... Continue Reading →

‘Out of the Smoke’ – Extract

This is the beginning of my latest novel, released in October 2020 and available to order now. It was inspired by the life and work of the Victorian MP and philanthropist Anthony Ashley Cooper, the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury. The book follows eleven-year-old Billy, a chimney sweep (or 'climbing boy' as they were known) as... Continue Reading →

My Writing Resolutions

I'm currently going through the Endever Process with what now feels like my first actual novel (the others, it turns out, were all just pretend — or at best they were exercises to get me warmed up for the real thing). In practical terms, this means the manuscript is opened up to the bullpen of... Continue Reading →

The Life of an Imaginary Friend

Or, The oddness of characters. Characters are funny old things. We dream them up, give them lives, names, faces,bodies, likes, dislikes, all manner of mannerisms, friends, families, wants, desires, needs, passions; and yet, for all that, they can remain stubbornly two-dimensional, trapped in the words on the page, struggling to come to life. This is... Continue Reading →

A Rose By Any Other Name

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet; So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d, Retain that dear perfection which he owes Without that title. Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, scene ii The above lines from Romeo and Juliet are often taken by writers... Continue Reading →

Lifting the Lid: Til Death

It’s official. I want a divorce. Not from my wife, of course. She’s the loveliest creature on this good earth, and no matter how hard things get in this marriage the D-word is one that will never come up. No, I would like a divorce from this novel. I have hit a period in the... Continue Reading →

Things that get in the way

I'll say this for working at a school: the holidays are well-earned. It's quite popular these days to bash teachers and teaching staff for the amount of time they get off, but believe me: they deserve it. Imagine trying to do your job (whatever you do), with all of its paperwork, admin, on-line and off-line... Continue Reading →

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