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Morecambe, Lancashire, United Kingdom
In the mornings I’m a Nursery Cook, the rest of the time a Writer. Been writing for decades: short stories, plays, poems, a sitcom and more recently flash fiction, Creative Writing MA at Lancaster Uni and now several novels. Been placed in competitions (Woman’s Own, Greenacre Writers and flashtagmanchester) and shortlisted in others (Fish, Calderdale, Short Fiction Journal). I won the Calderdale Prize 2011, was runner-up in the Ink Tears Flash Fiction Comp & won the Greenacre Writer Short Story Comp 2013. I have stories in Jawbreakers, Eating My Words, Flash Dogs Anthologies 1-3, 100 RPM and the Stories for Homes anthology. My work’s often described as ‘sweet’ but there’s usually something darker and more sinister beneath the sweetness. I love magical realism and a comedy-tragedy combination. My first novel, Queen of the World, is about a woman who believes she can influence the weather. I’m currently working on a 3rd: Priscilla Parker Reluctant Celebrity Chef. Originally from West Midlands, I love living by the sea in Morecambe, swimming, cycling, theatre, books, food, weather, sitcoms and LBBNML … SQUEEZE!

Thursday, 2 June 2011


Just a little flash I wrote last year ...

He talked me into this. Retirement party for someone who works at the bakery over the road. I had to agree that a man who’d been getting up at five each morning for forty years deserved a big do.
Grant probably asked all the others before me. I only had the interview last week and two shifts later here I am. I need the money. At least I’ll have something left for food and fares once my fees and rent are paid this term.

Aachoo! Note to self. Don’t sneeze when all squashed up inside a pink and white painted wooden cake. It hurts. Glad this isn’t a real cake. Be covered in jam and butter cream by now. There isn’t even room to laugh in here.
Can’t see anything but light through the layer of paper above me that I have to break and leap out through. Somehow.
He should have got Ellen to do this. More room in the cake and in this stupid riding-up costume. Feels like it’s slicing me in half. And why do sequins have to be so scratchy? Why can’t they make them soft?
Grant said two minutes before I’ll be wheeled in. Been more than that, surely? Told me to go back behind the bar afterwards to help the others. Keep smiling, keep the champagne flowing.
Starting to get pins and needles. Will I even be able to move when the time comes? He can’t have forgotten about me. What about the man from the bakery? Aachoo! Aachoo! Well, that dampened down the dust.  Didn’t think to bring tissues.

Googled it this morning. This whole jumping-out-of-a-cake thing. Not the sort of subject you think about until someone actually asks you to do it. It started in New York over a hundred years ago. Apparently, the jealous millionaire husband – if I had one of those I’d be crouched in a much bigger, fancier cake right now - of the woman who jumped out of that very first cake shot the guy whose party it was a few days later.

The cake’s lurching forward. It’s time.
Yes, shot in the face. At a musical. Wonder what went on there?

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