Hello and welcome to my website! I write mainly historical fiction, my particular interest being World War One and recent history. I have a burning desire to rip through the saccharine, sentimentalised, packaged narratives of this era, and tell powerful stories that will keep any reader enthralled.
Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Last week I extended blanket forgiveness towards anyone in the writing world who had knowingly wronged me. Then I realised that this had a follow-up part – forgiving myself also. Continue reading “Letter To My Enemies Part 2: Self-Forgiveness”
For the first three to four years after my book was published, I suffered great hurt at being erased by the literary group that dominates the discourse in Ireland, and greater hurt still at the gaslighting perpetuated by other authors who refused to acknowledge that such erasure and enmity took place. In fact they openly derided me for saying it had, to the point of driving me to a public and humiliating near-breakdown. Continue reading “A Letter to My Enemies”
But see, if you will, a rainy evening in August 1917, and a down-at-heel chamber in Soho. A girl of twenty-one, of mixed race, two years out of Jamaica and altogether jaded with life. Three years into the great Bangarang and no sign of an end. Pleasant weather, fresh fruit, courtesy from strangers – all lost dreams. Rain the whole time. Skin with a bloom of grey on the surface, mind shrunk down. An open heart of late turned surly as the weather.
I’m delighted to announce the winter 2019 publication of my second novel, Lucia’s War. This book will tell a story of motherhood, music, loss and redemption, set in the latter part of WWI and post-Armistice. The cover design is by Richie Cumberlidge of More Visual Cover Design and editing will be undertaken by Liz Hudson of The Little Red Pen who so ably shaped its predecessor, White Feathers.
It was always my desire to continue on with Lucia’s story where it began in White Feathers, and while Lucia’s War is in the same universe, with a few characters reappearing, her tale is separate and complete in itself – and one that I feel should be told in its own right. Among other themes, it explores how the propaganda machine weaponised motherhood during that war, and how black intellectual life flourished in London in the late teens and early postwar years. Not to mention fending off advances from W.B. Yeats and Bertrand Russell…:)
I’m excited to spread the word and keep folks updated. Feel free to enter your email address in the “Subscribe by Email” box on the right-hand side of the page if you want to hear updates and progress.
Announcement coming soon…
As featured on Ezvid – many thanks for including my book!
In the last five years, since my first novel has been published, I have written approx 300,000 words, comprising three novels. All these words are currently unpublished.
About 120,000 of them deserve this fate; the particular work they live in needs a severe rewrite and a change-of-person narration. The other 180,000 are two novels, one of which has been rejected, but which my agent likes very much and has plans for.
The other is Lucia’s story.
Readers of White Feathers will know who Lucia is; those who have not read the book will be introduced to a young Jamaican woman in early 20th century London attempting to find her fortune as a musician – and restore something precious that was lost to her during the war the year before. No, not lost – taken. With Lucia’s history, necessarily, the basso continuo is always about appropriation and theft.
I struggled very hard to finish this work, frantic not to lose my writing career, battling tough time constraints and obligations to get it done. And I lost my career anyway. Because after sending it for consideration and receiving professional feedback, I realised I spent all that time writing the wrong book, or the right book too late. Continue reading “…And Therefore I Write In Exile”
Continuing on my quest to promote climate-friendly, local travel – here comes the next phase of my cross-Ireland walk, the European route E8. Continue reading “E8 walk: Clonmel to Clogheen, via Fourmilewater”