Oysters and Alligators

New Orleans is a funny old place. On the face of it, The French Quarter dominates, with continental-styled streets and facades, an array of Creole restaurants, tourist shops and jazz bands on almost every street corner. But even this isn’t what it seems. Destroyed by fire in 1794 , the French Quarter’s buildings are now... Continue Reading →

Inspirational Women – Berlie Doherty, writer

 ‘I remember and let’s pretend - I remember is where you start, it’s what gives the story vitality and truth. Let’s pretend is what the imagination does with it, the lies that a story-teller is allowed to tell.’ [1] There are not many people like Berlie: quiet and thoughtful, kind and gentle, extremely articulate, when... Continue Reading →

The Muse – Jessie Burton

‘Not all of us receive the ends that we deserve. Many moments that change a life’s course – a conversation with a stranger on a ship, for example, are pure luck. And yet, no one writes you a letter, or chooses you as their confessor, without good reason. This is what she taught me: you... Continue Reading →

What makes a good book?

Or perhaps I should rephrase that as, what makes a book good? I have recently read The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2015. I must admit, that usually anything Man Bookery puts me off reading a book. Too avant garde, too clever, perhaps? When... Continue Reading →

Every story has a beginning…

  Five years ago I began the rather daunting task of beginning to write my first novel. Like most writers, I've found various displacement activties to do anything other instead of actually sit down and write!  This include visiting Facebook and Twitter, Rightmove, gardening, cleaning the oven, tidying up drawers, baking, flicking through magazines, planning... Continue Reading →

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