Exciting news! My Middle Grade novel The Theory of Overlapping Elephants (about a library-saving, introverted, Venn-loving girl) has been longlisted for the prestigious Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. The shortlist will be out in April…cross your fingers (or as they say in Bulgaria, squeeze your thumbs!) We have a longlist!
Lately I have been getting up at 6am and writing for half an hour or so before my girls wake up, aiming for 500 words each day. When it works, it works really well and I get a chain going. When I roll over and snooze my alarm, it feels rubbish and the day goes […]
Busy times call for garibaldi biscuits. That’s what my guru Ludwig says, anyway.
To paraphrase Elizabeth Gilbert: when you’re busy doing a creative thing, and you think it’s a thing that you’re passionate about, it’s really a matter of having chosen a particular flavour of sh*t sandwich. That is, do it because you want to. Do it because you (mostly) love it. Don’t expect it to be easy, […]
This article first appeared in I Hope You Like Feminist Rants – a very excellent magazine by Abigail Tarttelin. I went to a Girls Into Engineering day once, more than twenty years ago. It was depressing. We made rape alarms and machine-etched drinks coasters. Was this what female engineers did? It seemed bleakly staged, a […]
When I was five and had just moved to a new infant school, I remember not being brave enough to put up my hand and ask to go to the loo. I remember the warmth and shame, and the stretchy nylon knickers—navy blue with red and white—they sent me home in. I kept them. When […]
Lots has been happening in my world. I’ve written a novel (I’ll tell you more about that in my next post.) Hid under the duvet a bit. Did lots of exciting projects and some boring ones. Had a billion cups of tea. You know, the normal stuff. The thing is, back in April, after all […]
A short story, written 2 years ago after a weekend in Pomorie, on Bulgaria’s Black Sea. _ Baba Radka’s hair, which should have been sown on the crown of her head as thick as spring wheat, migrated like the storks do, and unlike the storks it stayed forever on her chin. It was at that […]
Often, on Fridays, those lively folk at Faber Academy run a flash fiction competition. It’s really fun and if you win they send you book prizes. It also gets you writing. Today I hopped over to Twitter (I was supposed to be doing something else. Aren’t we all?) and alas there was no #QuickFic. Just […]
My grandma would be a hundred today if she weren’t dead. I’m named after her. Joan. Elliott, before she married. I wonder what she was like in her twenties, during the 1930s. She met my grandpa in London while they were both studying to be librarians, but she didn’t finish her studies. I wonder what […]