Through Water & Fire: Free sample

Prologue“In the begynnynge …” White stars shone fiercely over the deep black waters of the North Sea as the Greyhound slid into Blakeney port. Newly arrived from Europe and riding low in the water, she groaned and listed as the helmsman brought her in alongside the quay. Ropes were cast, oars shipped, lanterns lit, and... Continue Reading →

Call the Poor – Part 2

An 'Out of the Smoke' Short Story Part 2 Part 1 - Part 2 The group trudged through the darkened streets, heads bent low against a freezing wind that seemed to have come straight from the pole. Robert kept half an eye on Clara, but he soon realised he need not have worried about her:... Continue Reading →

Call the Poor – Part 1

An 'Out of the Smoke' Short Story Part 1 - Part 2 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.... Continue Reading →

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 →

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