Reaching out

An unexpected pleasure of lockdown (and there have been few but I am always seeking out little crystals of light) has been the opportunity to connect with other writers across the world. Hayley Walsh is one such writer. Hayley writes light-hearted, romantic, comic fiction and has several self-published books to her name. She also works…

‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.’

This is, of course, the well-known opening sentence of Daphne du Maurier’s gothic novel ‘Rebecca’. It was also my primary recommendation in suspense thrillers for the latest episode of World to Write, the collaborative literary programme which has been released in time for Hallowe’en. Published in 1938, ‘Rebecca’ is a classic tale of domestic noir…

Grace Palmer, Curator of Novel Nights

Moving online

Adaptability has been my watchword over recent months. Like many writers I’ve felt disappointment at my inability to attend literary events in person. I’ve missed the social interaction that comes from meeting other writers and the sheer pleasure of browsing in bookshops. However I have been amazed at the resourcefulness of colleagues who have taught…

A book for a summer staycation:

Readers, bookworms, bibliophiles, take note. Writers love reviews. They are the bread to our butter and the neeps to our tatties. Receiving feedback is wonderful; it shows that someone has taken the time and effort to read your book and feel it worthy of comment. I have been heartened in the last month to receive…

Band, Book, Cook …

A few days ago I had the unexpected pleasure of being invited onto BBC Radio Wiltshire’s Afternoon Show to share my lockdown recommendations for a music track, a book and a recipe. Choosing a music track took me on a trip down memory lane and I settled for Gerry Rafferty’s ‘Get it Right Next Time’.…

Lockdown lessons

Day Sixty of lockdown and I have attempted something I’ve never done before: cut my own hair. An ace procrastinator at the best of times I can always be relied upon to find something more distracting: checking my Twitter feed, trying to book a delivery slot, working on my next manuscript. Wait, shouldn’t that last…

An enduring memoir

On 11 February 1990 I was on-call as a young GP, snatching a breather between morning and afternoon surgeries, when I was drawn to the television screen in the surgery waiting room. I watched, mesmerised, as Nelson Mandela emerged from Victor Verster prison after twenty-seven year’s incarceration. His long walk to freedom had become a…