You can now read the opening to my novel, Archipelago, on Wattpad:
Sometimes running is the only option.
After a flu pandemic devastated the old world, the Archipelago offered humanity’s only hope for safety, sanctuary and continuation. Hundreds of years later, paranoia and fear of the world beyond fuels political, religious and ideological isolationism and a brutal approach to strangers from outside.
Caerlin Kengarl, an unwilling smuggler, feels anything but safe when she decides to keep a fortune in stolen drug money. When she becomes implicated in the murder of a noble-born dealer with powerful connections, she has no choice but to run.
Aaron Fuidinniel is an orphan wrestling with his conscience. When he refuses to carry out orders and shows mercy, defending the Isles, his future is uncertain. When he saves Caerlin by committing murder, he condemns both of them.
To escape certain torture and death, they attempt something forbidden: flight to the open ocean and the world beyond. Pushing against the fear of what’s beyond and escaping the forces pursuing them, they also battle with their own histories.
Fevers of the Mind Volume 3 is now out, including a piece of flash fiction of mine called The Ride.
They look like my sons, but they’re not. I pretend they’re driving me to town as usual, but the radio news verifies my suspicion: there’s no way Carl would listen to that man and not shout obscenities. At eighty-two, I’m old enough to know leukaemia ain’t gonna kill me, despite it running wild through my withered body.
My poem, Echoes of Suzanne, features in this anthology of works dedicated to the memory of Leonard Cohen. Many writers and poets have contributed pieces inspired by the music and words of the great man as well as his cultural and personal legacy.
The prompt tag #vss365 has become a near obsession for many of us on Twitter. Every day, hundreds of writers contribute flash fiction, poetry and other writings based on a prompt word, chosen by guest moderators. They make fascinating reading and are a daily inspiration for me – both in terms of the work others produce and through the challenge of inventing something daily. Of course, the Twitter character limit adds another element. Brevity is key!
Recently, the author who designed the concept of #vss365, Mark King, initiated the idea for an anthology. This is now available – he writes:
“We tasked a talented global writing community to produce their best work. We provided them with 37 challenging prompts. We gave them a strict 280 character limit.
From thousands of entries, we selected just 365.
What can be achieved with just 280 characters? On these pages you will feel the fabric of love and depths of loss, you will explore mortality and ponder what it truly means to be alive, you will find poetry, prose, wonder, despair, humour and courage.
Most of all you will find exceptional thought-provoking authors who are pushing their form to the very limits and beyond.
All royalties of this anthology go directly to a children’s literacy charity.”
I am absolutely thrilled that three of my flash fiction pieces were chosen to form part of this anthology. You can find out more here:
“Applicious” is the first publication to be born from flash fiction created through #converstory.
Twitter is a forum for many ideas – good, bad and ugly – but over the last year, I’ve been exploring it as a platform for publishing flash fiction and poetry. I have particularly enjoyed the challenge of writing tweet length pieces based on a number of different writing prompts. These have become popular in the online #writingcommunity – essentially prompters publish a word or a theme and then writers from across the world respond through a tweet. It’s fun, but there is also a very supportive writing community out there ready to give you immediate feedback on your work. The quality of some of the writing, considering the constraints, is inspiring.
#converstory is a writing prompt which demands a story within the limits of a tweet, and in the words of its creator, Scott Christopher Beebe: “…no other action – not even dialogue tagging, etc. to add any detail to the stories, which are ONLY told through speech from characters created.”
Scott has compiled an anthology of stories which is now available on Amazon. “Applicious” is the first publication to be born from flash fiction created through #converstory.
I am thrilled and honoured to have had a piece selected for this publication. You can find out more here…
13-year-old Louis is convinced there is a mystery to solve in his small town. What is the deep throbbing that shakes the bones of the old town at night? What is actually being built in the station development near his house? When he persuades his friend Fran to investigate, they stumble upon a tragic accident and he witnesses the impossible.
Serafina is a teenager from a different dimension; her world is both a mirror to Louis’ and utterly different. As the daughter of Dion, an ambitious and ruthless leader, she has privilege and expectations, neither of which she wants. Her country is imploding as civil war threatens unless her mother’s audacious plan works.
As their stories intertwine, both will need to choose a side and both will discover the truth is far more complicated and dangerous.