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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!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Nazareth Care Day Nursery Lancaster Cook Book

My Cook Book is now on sale in the nursery. If anyone else wants to buy one then you can pay me £3.50 via paypal (let me know if you don't have my email) and I'll post it off to you.

The book contains nineteen recipes, main courses, puddings and teas. I've been a nursery cook over twenty years, hence my dedication ...

This book is dedicated to the hundreds & thousands of children I’ve cooked for since 1991

This is a sample recipe from the book

Malt Loaf

This is recipe is designed to be dairy- and egg-free but you could add an egg and use milk instead of the apple juice if you prefer. One member of staff has said that my malt loaf is ‘a million times better than the one you buy in the shops’!
A quarter of a 454g jar Malt Extract
A quarter of a 454g jar Golden Syrup
50g. /2 oz. Margarine
150 ml. ¼ pint Apple Juice
350g. / 12 oz. Plain Flour
1 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
175 g. /6 oz Dried Fruit (I use a mixture of Sultanas, Raisins and Apricots)
25 g. /1 oz. Soft Brown Sugar

Place flour, baking powder, sugar & fruit in a large bowl. Melt margarine, syrup & malt slowly in a pan with the apple juice. Add the warm mixture to the dry ingredients & stir to combine everything. Place in a greased & floured 2 lb. loaf tin & cook 170ÂșC/325°F/Gas Mark 3 for 40-45 minutes. Allow to partially cool before removing from the tin. Serve sliced & spread with butter or spread. Makes 12 slices.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Stories for Homes

I have no experience of homelessness. Despite never earning much money compared to most I have always had the help of my family. The reason I now own my own flat is that my aunt who had no husband or children died and my parents gave the money from the sale of her bungalow to my brother & I. Not everyone’s family can help them, not everyone is able to work or are healthy. I know this makes me very very lucky.

The Stories for Homes anthology features 63 stories & poems on the theme of home and features a story by me, called Patricia, which I wrote specifically for this anthology. It combines a look at the problem of hoarding and an exploration of how someone can be a different person at home than they are at work.

When I wrote and submitted Patricia I wondered if the hoarding theme would be popular so I was pleased when it was accepted to be in the anthology. The editing process (writers were paired off and gave feedback on each other’s stories) was a good experience.

I now have my copy. When I read anthologies I like to read the titles and pick the stories at random rather than read from start to finish. I’ve already read about a quarter of the stories. I’ve been interested to see the variety of interpretations of the home theme and I’ve yet to see one about hoarding.

Stories for Homes is available on Amazon as a fat paperback (my mother complained that she had to go to the door because the copy I sent her wouldn't fit through her letterbox!) or for kindle. All the royalties go to Shelter and I hear that’s over a £1000 so far. I’m delighted to have been a small part of this brilliant project.