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The Things I Do For Art!

The Things I Do For Art!

Did you know … ? …. that gin is actually flavoured vodka? That archaeobotanists use straw from the thatched roofs of old buildings to research ancient heritage grains? That indeed, there is such a job as an archaeobotanist? These and other gems I discovered on…
Friends of Sonning Common Library are well named

Friends of Sonning Common Library are well named

Thank you Alison of Sonning Common Library, Alex of Fourbears Bookshop in Caversham and all those who turned out to the very cheery Sonning Common Library on a dark, damp night. They listened attentively as I burbled on about Note to Boy and my time…
Sonning Common here I come!

Sonning Common here I come!

Very excited to be talking to the Friends of Sonning Common Library about my comic novel Note to Boy and my mis-spent youth as a BBC comedy scriptwriter. Tuesday 27th September at 7pm. Contact the library for details. Hope to see you there.
Two new names to remember - reviews

Two new names to remember - reviews

Do you review the books you read? I don’t mean the blockbusters whose names crop up with predictable regularity. They are managing quite well without our help, thank you very much. I mean, if you discover a new name among the bookshelves, take a chance…
Page-turner vs. literary - does it have to be a choice?

Page-turner vs. literary - does it have to be a choice?

Having read a couple of so-called literary novels recently, I’m now very much enjoying a more mainstream title. Of course there are different books for different moods and tastes but I’m increasingly exasperated by novels that encourage you to stop and admire their cleverness at…
Reasons To Be Cheerful - a review

Reasons To Be Cheerful - a review

This review of Nina Stibbe’s comic fiction, Reasons To Be Cheerful, appeared in the excellent Writers Review blog. Writers Review is a weekly blog hosted by authors Adele Geras, Celia Rees and Linda Newbery. It gives reading recommendations by published writers and independent booksellers. In…
Enjoying the stars and bars of Cheshire

Enjoying the stars and bars of Cheshire

Who’d have thought, when Note to Boy hit the bookshops almost two years ago that I would still be fulfilling some of the gin pledges kindly made when I was crowdfunding the book? Covid and geography have delayed the process but at last we are…
Who wants a sneak peek?

Who wants a sneak peek?

Are there any more satisfying words for a novelist to write than ‘The End’? Er, actually, yes. Finishing a book, for me, is an anxious, unsettling time. Why? For two reasons. One, because the end is never really the end. I’ve yet to meet or…
Talking books at Carterton Library

Talking books at Carterton Library

Huge thanks to Andrew and Helen and all the lovely people of Carterton who made me so welcome at the library on Tuesday for my author talk. It felt as if I made some new friends. A few snapshots of the evening. Thank you Carterton!
Here be a monster!

Here be a monster!

I’m a passable cook. I can knit simple jumpers. I’ve written some scripts and a couple of novels. And … no, that’s about it. Sum total of my skills. So I’m always in awe of those marvellously talented creatures who are brilliant at lots of…