I’m a lesbian feminist with a love of fairy tales. I wrote my first story aged about eight, which was rediscovered by my mother about the time of my first publication, well over twenty years later; and shown to my publisher… the language had changed, but not the enthusiasms.
I manage Arachne Press, editing anthologies (short stories and poetry) and Young Adult novels, and organise live literature events, including the regular The Story Sessions, and the annual (we hope!) Solstice Shorts Festival, and I teach creative writing at City University as a visting lecturer.
I had stories published in 2 anthologies before getting my act together to produce my first collection, Mosaic of Air in 1992, now republished by Arachne Press followed by a long delay caused by a career in IT (don’t ask!) and then Tales Told Before Cockcrow in 2008 (currently out of print), all with Onlywomen Press.
In the interim I started three novels, one of which, The Dowry Blade a ridiculously long lesbian fantasy epic ( I do love extremes) is due for publication in February 2015. A science fiction novel which is based on the lead story of Mosaic of Air is about 3/4 complete, and an historical novel set in Languedoc in 1253 is mired in research and may have to be a fantasy after all. I have just embarked on what may be a young adult book, about the complications of step families and archaeology and time shifts. And I now have enough stories for another collection. I love juggling all the different themes and plots and characters; there is rarely a moment when I have nothing to write on any of them.
Until a few years ago writing was a solitary business, but then I discovered WOOA, a writing group based locally and have discovered I enjoy talking about writing almost as much as I like the actual writing.
I can be found performing my stories anywhere people ask me, but particularly at The Story Sessions, which I run.
I have had stories published in a number of anthologies from Onlywomen Press, Arachne Press and Leaf books, and in magazines and online – at Litro, .Cent amongst others.
I have had a number of stories read at Liars’ League, and they have become partners-in-crime (along with WOOA) for Arachne Press, my publishing venture, which has led to 5 anthologies so far, a young adult novel (which has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal) and a reissue of Mosaic of Air – which doesn’t leave as much time for writing as I’d like.
my to-read shelf: