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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, 31 May 2012


I love an anthology of stories. I always read the list of titles first. They make a story in themselves. A story of intriguing possibilities. And not for me the start-to-finish approach like reading a novel. I prefer the chocolate box method, picking out what I fancy first. Sometimes I absolutely MUST find out what a particular story is all about or the title makes me imagine what the story’s theme might be. Or perhaps I recognise the author’s name. I often pick the shortest story as an initial taster then longer one to savour. Then I begin to wonder if someone had carefully put all these stories in a particular order …

So … I’m very pleased, thrilled even, to have stories in two anthologies that have been launched this month.

My flash, ‘Harps’ is in Jawbreakers, the National Flash Fiction Day Anthology, along with a whole collection of one-word-title flashes, some by writers who were commissioned and others who, like me, submitted. Harps is a mere 178 words long, fitting nicely on page 51. I’m especially proud to be in this anthology because two years ago I read some flashes by one of the commissioned writers, David Gaffney, and was inspired to write shorter short stories. Jawbreakers is available on Amazon for Kindle or in old fashioned papery versions (and very nice too) from National Flash Fiction Day 

The other anthology is out today. Called 100RPM, it features one hundred hundred- word stories all inspired by songs on youtube. Lots of interesting stuff and what looks like a wide selection of songs. I intend to spend some time listening to the song, reading the stories and finding music that is new to me. Many of the bands and singers i have never heard. very much stuck in the late seventies when it comes to music. My stories in 100RPM are called ‘Here’, inspired by Some Fantastic Place by Squeeze and ‘My Boy’ inspired by My Perfect Cousin by The Undertones 

100RPM has been put together, from initial writing challenge to finished anthology by writer Caroline Smailes (she writes about it here here) It has an introduction by Nik Kershaw and is being sold on Amazon for Kindle for just £1.02 in aid of a charity called One in Four that helps victims of sexual abuse.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


You were ten and half pounds when you were born. People kept calling you ‘bouncing’ and ‘bonny’. I told Auntie May on the phone so she knew you were a big baby but by the time her christening present arrived I could see they wouldn’t fit.
Lovely baby shoes. Neatly stitched in soft red and green leather. I remember Rosie and Izzy taking a shoe each out of the box. They turned them round in their hands. The leather gleamed. They decided the tiny stitches and intricate embroidery had been done by elves. This made them both giggle. You joined in from your cot as they dangled the magic elf-made shoes above your head. Maybe that was your first laugh.
Rosie and Izzy did try to get them on your feet. You just kicked the air and chuckled at them. Even when they tried putting socks on you they had the same trouble. Good job you had a Mum and two helpful sisters or you’d never have worn socks or shoes for more than a few seconds. Or hats. What you liked best was being on the rug, in your birthday suit. I know, I know. Don’t look at me like that.
The shoes were put back in their box. We could get good money for those, your Dad said. We advertised them for sale. Your sisters made a poster to go up in the shop. I said put ‘Brand New’ but the girls thought ‘Never Worn’ sounded better.
We sold them to someone further up the hill, a Mrs. What-was-her-name? No, of course I don’t expect you to know. The girls would remember. We’ll ask them later.
I know you’ve heard all this before, love, but I think of those shoes every time I come round here and trip over your size fourteen boots in the hallway.