Hello there! Good to see you again. Did you have a nice Christmas? A good New Year’s? Excellent. Yes, mine was actually pretty awesome. I’ve got big plans for 2015.
First up are the final three Writing Motherhood events at StAnza (with Hollie McNish and Kathryn Maris), the York Literature Festival (with CL Taylor and Nuala Casey), and the Dylan Thomas Centre (with Lily Dunn and Nuala Casey). I’m hugely excited for all of these: the previous events have been fantastic, so please do buy a ticket and come along if you’re near any of the venues. For me, the chance to work with such amazing writers and hear so many stories from audiences has been richly rewarding, as has been the opportunity to receive submissions for the Mslexia blog (I’m still accepting submissions – send to firstname.lastname@example.org). Some of the highlights of the Writing Motherhood tour have been getting lost in Scotland with Kathryn Maris, launching Boom! at the Hexham Book Festival and getting heckled with Rebecca Goss and Hollie McNish at the Ledbury Poetry Festival. Oh, and weeping at Debi Gliori‘s incredible performance at the Belfast Book Festival – after which she made my son’s YEAR by signing his favourite book.
The Writing Motherhood anthology is with a publisher at the minute, and I’ll let you know publication details when I have them. Exciting!
Right now I’m working on a number of projects. I’m redrafting my fourth novel, THE DISAPPEARING OF CLEMENTINE GREY and working on a fifth, currently titled THE MISSING ONE. Both are psychological mysteries/thrillers and I’m in love with both stories. I never feel as though I make anything up when I write – it feels as though I’m simply tapping into something that already exists, listening to a story that has already happened and is being whispered to me. I’m also – very slowly, I must admit – making steps towards my third poetry collection, SAGITTARIUS A*, which takes astrophysics and mental illness as its themes (no biggie!) I’ll also be writing a new poetry collection for an international magazine (details to follow) and am devising a research project on creative writing and mental wellbeing. And of course, the semester begins next week, so I’ll be commuting to the University of Glasgow to teach my students. It’s a wonderful programme – do have a look if you’re considering a postgraduate degree in Creative Writing. And look how pretty the campus is: