I am a writer from the UK, born in a very rural corner of south west England. From the moment I could speak, I talked about becoming a singer and actress. My parents sent me to ballet classes, tap classes, drama classes and singing lessons. I joined theatre groups, spending the first half of my life on stage. I moved to northern England to attend university, gaining an Honours Degree in Drama and Writing. It was during this time that I came to realise I didn’t want to be on stage, saying someone else’s words. I wanted to sit in a darkened auditorium, watching other people say mine. I wanted to write.
2. When did you start writing, and why?
I’ve actually been writing since before I can even remember; it’s just something I’ve always done. But when I was at university we were asked by one of our writing tutors to explain what writing meant to us. I said that I couldn’t see it being anything more than a hobby for me, and my tutor said “That would be a real shame.” That was the first time I considered that maybe I could do this. I had my first story published in an anthology in January 2011, and I haven’t looked back since.
3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?
I mostly write horror and fantasy short stories, although I am also a poet, journalist, and working on my first novel. Fantasy has always been my genre for reading and writing. I only came to horror about five years ago, and am making my way through Stephen King’s bibliography. I love writing short stories because I get to live in a different world every month or so. I get to meet new characters, live new lives. It’s fast-paced and exciting and, at the moment at least, that suits me down to the ground.
4. What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?
KnightWatch Press have just released their ‘Potatoes’ anthology. It’s a collection of speculative fiction stories in which potatoes play a central part, and it contains my short story ‘Killing Ghosts’. I also have a story in the upcoming ‘Steampunk Monster Hunter: The Dark Monocle’ anthology from Emby Press.
5. “Welcome To My Worlds”: Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.
‘Killing Ghosts’ is set in a strongly patriarchal city in which potatoes have divination and magical properties. Potatoes have kept the aged council alive and in power for more than two centuries, ruling the city without any chance of democracy or change. Women are offered few rights or liberties, and the story starts at the beginning of a revolution seeking to remove the council from power.
6. Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
Tīenn is my main character, and the catalyst for the revolution. She’s passionate, proactive and competent, but there’s a lot more to her than that. We get glimpses of it through her relationship with Brae, who is leading the revolution through delegation rather than action.
Marielle is a fortune teller keeping herself young through the magic of the potatoes. She’s spirited and brave, not afraid to speak her mind, even to those in power. She’s good fun and supplies most of the humour, even if it is a little black and ironic.
7. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.
There are two jokes hidden within my story (how could I write a story about magic potatoes without being a little tongue-in-cheek?) The group responsible for bringing about the revolution are called the Society for the Prevention of Unwholesome Divination, the acronym for which is SPUD. Also, my husband dared me to include the term ‘love spuds’ (slang for testicles) in my story. I rose to that challenge, it’s hidden in there. But you’ll have to find it yourselves.
The humble potato – a changer of worlds, a feeder of nations and a small round tuber that grows underground – in this collection of short stories it’s all of these things and more.
What if the potato was the key to divining the future, or the home of a malevolent spirit? What if nations went to war over a field of potatoes, if political careers could be made and cast aside on the outcome of a single year’s crop?
In this collection of stories the potato is the star. You may think it’s a joke but we take this chip off the old block very seriously indeed.
Her short stories have been published by Mirador Publishing, Crooked Cat Publishing, Angelic Knight Press, Horrified Press, Seventh Star Press, Sirens Call Publications and KnightWatch Press. She has also had a story accepted by Emby Press for future publication.
Some years ago she worked at an antique auction house and religiously checked every wardrobe that came in to see if Narnia was in the back of it. She’s still not given up looking for it.