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The Korean cover of The Bear Who Sailed the Ocean on an Iceberg

I absolutely love the Korean cover of The Bear who Sailed the Ocean on an Iceberg. Published in Korea today!

The Bear audiobook

The Bear who Sailed the Ocean on an Iceberg is now available as an audiobook! Narrated by the fantastic Peter Kenny who has done such an excellent job of capturing Monty. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I did.

The Bear Who Sailed the Ocean on an Iceberg

I am so thrilled ‘The Bear Who Sailed the Ocean on an Iceberg’ is out in the world. I can’t wait for readers to meet Monty!

Same same but different, an anthology of short stories

Same Same but Different is an anthology of short stories with the theme of solitude. Contributors include Helen Simpson, A.L. Kennedy, Amanda Craig and Stephen S. Thomson, to name a few. My short story Glass also features in the the collection. All the stories are wonderfully vibrant, thought provoking and diverse but if I absolutley had to pick a favourite,…

The Taiwanese cover of Notes on My Family is here!

I am so thrilled with the Taiwanese cover of Notes on My Family. If you look closely you can even see Hammy the escaped hamster!

The Bear Who Sailed the Ocean on an Iceberg

I’m very excited to announce that my new novel for 9-12s will be published in October 2021, illustrated by the very talented Holly Ovenden. ‘A brilliantly funny and touching story about a boy who finds a polar bear in his parents’ freezer. How did Monty get there? And who is Monty? Official name, Wilbur Ambrose Cedric Reginald Montague, the Third;…

The Tiny Gestures of Small Flowers

  Excerpt: Brighton. She doesn’t know it at all. She sits in the café in Waterstones drinking a latte. The café is on the top floor and, out of the window, she has a view of the sea and the pier, its end shrouded in mist. The coffee makes her feel shaky. She isn’t used to it. Only Alice drinks…

Spring/Summer Reading 2020

From bottom to top.  Actress is the first Anne Enright novel I’ve read and I’ve got no idea why I haven’t read any others. She is such a skilful writer. The narrator, Norah, slowly unpicks her mother’s famous and turbulent life as an actress, lover and mother. I love this passage where Norah invents a scenario about her father going…

My top three isolation/lockdown reads

The Skylark’s War by Hilary McKay. Written for children, and set in the Edwardian era, The Skylark’s War provides cosy escapism into a very different time, but also offers parallels between then and now. Clarry, Peter and Rupert face a crisis (the first world war) that changes their lives, the lives of all those around them, and requires them to…

West London Writing Workshop January 2020

I’m delighted to share an opportunity with you that I hope you’re going to enjoy. This January, I’ll be running the Write Mentor West London weekend writing workshop. Join me on the 4/5th of January in gorgeous West London where I’ll be presenting on various topics, including writing MG and YA fiction, beginnings, story structure, accessing creativity, making time to…

Bleaching tea spoons and other distractions

I once heard a story about a friend of the crime writer Val McDermid. This friend wished to call up her pal Val and find out how she was, only she was worried about interrupting the highly successful writer at work. The friend finally summoned the courage and picked up the phone, praying she wasn’t going to put Val off…

Fifteen quotes about writing from women writers

‘I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and uninformed female who ever dared to be an authoress.’ Jane Austen    ‘Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.’ Margaret Atwood   ‘Male writers are thought of as…

How to get to the end of a first draft

As I approach the end of the first draft of of my new novel, I have been thinking about how and also exactly what it takes to get to an end of a first draft (other than sheer teeth-gritting determination and mountains of coffee).  I find that a lot of new writers have plenty of openings or half completed novels…

Mentoring and Manuscript Assessment

Ever feel like you’re out in the wilds, not sure which direction to take? Writing groups and workshops are great, as is showing your writing to your best friend, mum, cat, but there comes a time when you need to make a decision about how much you want to be a writer and how seriously you are going to take…

Spring 2019 News

The sun is shining and there are daffodils on my mantelpiece. It must be spring! In February I attended the Bristol Teen Book Award reading party. I’d never been to Bristol before and fell in love with its hills, architecture, harbour, quirky cafes and colourful student vibe. I will definitely be returning to Bristol when I can. Not only did…

The Riff Riff Podcast

A few weeks ago I set off for Battersea studios to record a podcast interview with The Riff Raff. The Riff Riff are a writing community founded by Amy Baker and Rosy Edwards. They have a podcast, host live events and even have a mentoring scheme. If you’d like to listen to my writing advice and hear me talking more…

Writing Crossover Fiction

Writing crossover fiction first appeared on The Literary Sofa.   When I began writing Notes on My Family I wasn’t thinking about whether I was writing a book for adults, or YA fiction, or a crossover novel. I was simply writing a novel. I knew I wanted to write a darkly humorous book about a dysfunctional family living a seemingly…

Bristol Teen Book Award 2018

Notes on My Family has been shortlisted for the Bristol Teen Book Award and I’m so thrilled. It’s hugely important and significant for me to have been shortlisted for an award that celebrates diversity in teen fiction. Lou is an outsider who isn’t fitting in well at school. She sees the world differently to others. Neurodiversity is something I believe all…

World Book Day 2018

World book day this year landed on a snowy Thursday. Many schools were closed but not Coombe Boy’s school in New Malden where I had the pleasure of teaching two creative writing workshops to year seven and eight pupils. We talked about how to begin a story and how to chose between first and third person. We discussed some of…

How to start writing creatively today (with three prompts)

I often meet people who would like to write creatively but who are unsure how to begin. Most of us are afraid to explore new creative pursuits. Even after making the decision, six years ago, to take my writing more seriously and signing up for a creative writing course at a local arts centre, I still worried that I should…

Photographs from the book launch of Notes on My Family

The book launch for Notes on My Family took place on the Thursday 23rd November at West End Lane Bookshop in West Hampstead. It was a cold and windy evening but we had a great time (and a little red wine) as we celebrated the book’s release. Here are a few photographs from the evening!       

Writing Notes on my Family

I began writing Notes on My Family during the final year of my undergraduate degree. I studied Creative Writing at London Metropolitan University. I knew I wanted to write something very different to anything I had attempted before. I wanted to write in the present tense, for the novel to be fast paced, and for there to be a sense…

On Ideas

I was thinking this morning about ideas. A question that every author is asked at some stage in their writing career is: Where do you get your ideas from? It’s an obvious question which often results in a less than obvious response from the author. There is one thing to remember here: ideas are not plot. For me, ideas are…

Notes on my family

‘Louise Coulson is a person aged thirteen and a half. She likes to be left to her own devices. She has a dog called Renzo but it should be noted that Renzo lives in an alternate universe along with her real/imaginary parents. Louise Coulson cannot juggle or walk a tightrope or perform any additional circus tricks. She likes cheese and…