Writing Advice

I’ve been a professional, published, author/writer for a few years now, and for a few years before that I was a writer in search of publication. And in that time I’ve seen a lot of advice given to writers who want to be published. Some of it I’ve taken myself, sometimes it’s been great and […]


I remember (very clearly!) how much hard work it was putting the stories of Not So Perfect in order. We (me and the wonderful Roast Books people) knew which story we wanted to start with and which we wanted to end with, and that was about it. Making sure what went between them flowed (for […]

A Few Thoughts On Short Fiction

A little while ago I was asked, by the super-ace, Clare Conlon, if I could give her some thoughts on short fiction. So I did. And here’s her (rather splendid) article, at The Creative Times, which has a few of my words in it. Anyway, I thought a few people here may be interested to […]


I’m thrilled to welcome Melissa Lee-Houghton to the blog today, to talk about her debut collection on poems, A Body Made of You (which sounds fab, by the way). Enjoy! Hello and welcome, Melissa! It’s great to have you here. So, your debut collection of poems, ‘A Body Made Of You’ was published on April […]

Soundtrack to my Life

A couple of years ago I did this meme thingumy to come up with a soundtrack to my life. And it was fun. So, I thought, why not do it again? Just for a bit of fun. So I did. And it produced some, err, interesting results – especially as a lot of the songs […]

Sorry and Funny

Only a little post today to assure you all that I am still alive and that I’ve just been a bit rubbish at blogging of late – mostly because I’ve not been very well (I have been bust writing too). But today is my last day of antibiotics (which, although they clearly help, are bloody […]

My Life In Stories

First up: stories. They are important, especially for a short story writer like me. Which  probably goes without saying. And today I’m over at the brilliant Dan Powell’s blog talking about them – more specifically, I’m talking about My Life In Short Fiction, which is both an honour (I think Dan’s blog is excellent, as […]

Interview – Mark Hanks: Non Fiction And Household Tips

I’m delighted to welcome Mark Hanks to the blog today, to talk about his latest book, the top ten best seller, ‘Mum Knows Best‘ (Square Peg – Random House). It’s an excellent book, useful and fun (even my mum thinks so, which is some endorsement), but I’ll let him tell you about that – and more, […]

Comic Relief

The superbly talented Darren Craske, who’s illustrating my next collection,  FREAKS! (co-written by the superbly talented and lovely Caroline Smailes, details here) has taken a little time out from his scribbling, sketching, inking and bringing our stories to life in such a brilliant way (seriously, just wait ’till you see the illustrations – they are […]

Ultimately Satisfying

Really pleased to see Not So Perfect getting a lovely mention by Carys on her blog – she’s reading and reviewing all the collections long listed for the Edge Hill Prize. And that brings me to another thing. A cool thing. You know, we hear often that short story collections don’t sell, and that no-one […]