Yearly Archives: 2017

Coming of Age

“Perhaps that sums it up – this story to date, that is. The mistakes, the missed clues, the silly pride, and all the self-pity. And finding love in unexpected places.” (Timed Out)  Timed Out, published in my seventies, is a ‘coming of age’ story in two senses. My character Jane Lambert is sixty when the ... Read More

Writing about Humanism

(First published in Humanist Life, July 2016) ‘It’s as though a door opened and someone beckoned; I didn’t respond, and the door was closed for always. I was still a non-believer, but not so militant now – perhaps because of that little Madonna, or because of my friend Maria who trusted in that God of ... Read More

The Event – a short story

Arthur Tillotson squirms trussed and gagged in the centre of a huge circle of red-robed young women. Most of their pretty faces show fear, a few anger, a very few pity; all of them show resolution. They have removed their wide-brimmed bonnets but kept on their little white caps. A voice announces, “Girls, this man ... Read More
10 Tips for Earning a Writer’s Thanks

10 Tips for Earning a Writer’s Thanks

1.Don’t lend books.. 2.Don’t borrow books, except from libraries. 3.Review books on Amazon and Goodreads. 4.If libraries say they haven’t a copy, persist. 5.If bookshops say they haven’t a copy, persist. 6.Suggest contemporary writers for your book club. 7.Support independent bookshops. 8.Go to signings, events, literary festivals – and buy books. 9.Give books as presents. ... Read More
Getting a Mention

Getting a Mention

This  little cartoon showing a cat reviewing among other things my novel Timed Out is by cartoonist Colin Shelbourn. It  appeared alongside a very short story of mine published in The Author. The story, “How Many Stars?”, has earned me more accolades and almost as many pounds as the novel plus all my other published fiction. And ... Read More

An unkind little story about dating and the elderly

Found in a folder of old notes pre-dating my novel Timed Out in which  a rather different version appears  briefly. “Afraid of dying alone? Don’t be. Find yourself a carer. Internet dating is the answer,” all over the country decrepit men are telling their decrepit friends. And all over the country, lonely women are egging ... Read More

“Also Bought…” (Another Amazon Mystery)

My novel Timed Out is usually classified as ‘mature romance’ or ‘women’s literary fiction’. (I snobbishly  prefer ‘literary fiction’ though I know that doesn’t sell books.) It is about an older woman trying to turn her life around after she retires, doing Internet dating and also  pondering again the Big Questions. On its  book page lists ... Read More

Five brilliant novels but I couldn’t enjoy them

John Crace Being Dead. Begins with a gruesome murder and then traces the victims’ lives leading up to that moment, and describes in detail the putrefaction of the corpses. I was too squeamish for this, though John Crace as a writer of beautiful and evocative prose is second to none. Margaret Drabble The Dark Flood Rises. A ... Read More