There is No Exit: Flash Fiction

A quick flash fiction written from a prompt from Chuck Wendig once again. This time, the prompt was ‘There is no exit.

Ivor trudged home. It had been a long, hard day. He had got into the office at 7 in the morning and it was past 10 at night now. The office was struggling to complete the audit and he had to pitch in. Still, it was better than previous years, back in The Agency. His thoughts started to drift back to- No. He was stronger than that. Continue reading

A response to Laurie Gough

In another example of running a controversial story to get clicks, the Huffington Post published an article by Laurie Gough that argues that self-publishing is an insult to the written word. (Of course, they also published a reaction to the original article, so they have it both ways.) As a self-published author myself, I disagree with Laurie’s argument. There has been a few angry responses to this opinion piece, but I thought I’d offer some personal thoughts on why I take issue with it.
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The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

I’ve been a fan of David Mitchell since reading Cloud Atlas in my early twenties. Since then, I have enjoyed almost everything he has written, so I was excited to finally get round to The Bone Clocks. I’ve somehow never tackled it, possibly because at 500 pages it’s quite a time investment.

One of the strengths of his fiction is the unexpected, which The Bone Clocks has in spades. It’s similar in structure to Cloud Atlas or Ghostwritten, where every chapter has a new character and new perspective. What he does incredibly well within this framework is disrupt the standard narrative. The first chapter, dealing with Holly Sykes, has a sudden interruption from a strange character, from a different realm entirely. Suddenly the story is dangerous and we have lurched in a weird new place. The effect is one of disorientation as we think we know where the story is going, but then it is terrifyingly derailed. The character speaks in an information dump, which becomes overwhelming as there are too many unknown terms that we do not understand. Of course, everything is becomes clearer later, but the reader does not expect the interruption.

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The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan- Book Review

I picked this short novella up recently and devoured it in about a day. Having previously read some of Ian McEwan’s later novels such as Saturday & On Chesil Beach, I wasn’t expecting such a violent and horrible little story. It deals with four children left abandoned in their house when both their parents die, and the unpleasantness that follows their isolation.
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On Writing and Publishing a Book


Last Good Friday, I found myself hunched over the computer, fiddling with styles and formatting while outside was bright sunshine. It was all in aid of getting my first collection of short stories published, Amber Stars.

The book started as a couple of stories and ideas I was playing around with in private. I wrote ‘Welcome Home’ & ‘The Underworld’ mostly for myself. It was an exercise in keeping my fingers busy. I often have quite a few writing projects on the go and these stories were just another one I was going to keep to myself. My tendency is to write lots and share little, which is probably the wrong way round.
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