One of the aspects I love about this job is the chance to travel at my desk; to get under someone else’s skin. At the moment I’m time-travelling to early twentieth-century Congo – a fascinating and terrifying place – to research my second novel. I was thrilled when the opening chapters won the 2014 Yeovil Literary Prize judged by novelist Elizabeth Buchan. It was also a huge boost to be shortlisted for the inaugural Bridport Prize First Novel Award.
I’m still writing short stories, too, and I was delighted when one of my pieces was longlisted for the 2016/17 Fish short story prize. It’s so exciting when something that began as the spark of an idea goes out into the world. I was pleased to contribute some thoughts on ideas and inspiration to this post at theshortstory.co.uk/news/articles/
You can be intrigued by my work here.
I’m getting better at living with the muddle that is my writing process. And I’m beginning to realise how keeping busy with an apparently mundane task can help solve a writing problem. As it’s summer, it seems appropriate that it’s a gardening-related example that I’ve included on my blog.
The discipline of deadlines is enormously important to my writing motivation, and it’s interesting to be on the other side of the fence, as a reader for The Brighton Prize for short stories and flash fiction. The prize has just closed for this year, and I’m looking forward to reading another great crop of entries.
Reading for the prize is a humbling reminder of the amount of work for all involved in running a competition. As a result, I’ve vowed to atone for past sins by in future pressing ‘Send’ before one minute to midnight…