Sunday 30 July 2023

Sunday Snippet - by guest author Louise Wilford


The red-gold sky stretches ahead, still as a salt flat, resting on clouds that obscure the landscape beneath. The rippled granite of the summit unrolls behind me to the horizon.

I’m halfway, balanced on the edge between the climb and the fall.

Taking the granite path will definitely bring pain, though a pain dulled by familiarity. I’m already acquainted with the endless drone of regret, each day as pewter-grey as the last, until even the daily acts of washing, eating, breathing have become too tiresome to sustain.

A long dying, followed by a long death.

Stepping into the sky will probably bring pain – my body a shattered, bloody mess, lacerated by the knives of jutting rocks as I fall. Or, who knows? I might soar through the sky like a gull, held in the warm arms of the air. My grandma used to say that, for every demon’s push, there’s an angel’s embrace.

The only way to avoid either of these pains is to choose the other.

It is the vernal equinox today. I heard it on the news. Today there is an equal quantity of light and dark. Here, we’re about to tip from winter into spring, but elsewhere they’ll vice versa it and move from spring to winter. The magic is in such borders, they claim. On the brink of here and there, of sleep and consciousness, of death and life.

My grandma used to claim you could balance an egg on its smaller end at such times. But what good does that do? Balanced on its end, it’s still an egg. It still smashes as it hits the ground, or grows rank and sour from being kept in the same bowl too long.

I’ll choose the red-gold sky.

I’ll hope for an angel.

[297 words, including title]


Came Third in Fosseway Flash Fiction Competition 2022 - Theme: Equinox



Louise Wilford lives and works in Yorkshire, UK, with her husband and an elderly cat. She has been writing poetry and prose since childhood. Her work has been widely published, most recently in Allium, Epistemic Literary, 805, Heartland Review, Last Leaves, New Verse News, Ocotilo Review, Pine Cone Review,  Punk Noir, River and South, Silver Blade, The Avenue, POTB, Balloons Lit, Parakeet, The Fieldstone Review, and Black Hare Press, and was nominated for Best Of The Net in 2022.  In 2020, she won First Prize in the Arts Quarterly Short Story Competition, and was awarded a Masters in Creative Writing (Distinction). She is working on a fantasy novel. 

You can read her blog here:

Thursday 27 July 2023

Book reviews - Locked 'room' style novels - Part 1

All of these books have a locked room feeling due to the isolation of their location/setting, or way in which the murder comes about:

*Spoilers are kept to a minimum!

The Guest List – Lucy Foley

This book was great! It has a beautiful use of a remote island - I could really picture the setting.

It does jump forward and backwards in regard to time/structure, and the death occurs very early on. It works though, you just have to remember what and when! Backstory in this is shown effectively and it all felt necessary and well interwoven, rather than info dumps. If anything, I wanted to know about the past of each character…it felt crucial to what was happening when in the present!

Despite the timeframe being restricted in terms of current action (it occurs in just a couple of days) I was hooked and read this book in just over a day.


Sleep - C.L.Taylor

A remote island, like the above book. There’s a VERY clever twist and it’s well written. Typical me, there's a funny tale to accompany the first glance of this book that I will put on my blog on a Tuesday post. Put it this way...I was glad to find and read this book! :)


Pretty Guilty Women – Gina LaManna

Four women confess to the same crime and it has a ‘locked room’ feeling like the previous books mentioned due to being set at a holiday resort as there are limited characters, therefore restricting the chance for it to be anyone else/plus no other locations. I could NOT put this down!


An Unwanted Guest – Shari Lapena

This is WELL worth a read and it’s very similar to And Then There Were None and Lapena admits to being influenced by Christie.

I felt at times that it was slow (waiting for things to happen…especially in a couple of specific places) and wanted to read through these quickly! However, in a way, it added to the claustrophobia of the characters being isolated and stuck…plus sitting there suspecting each other…so I was arguing with myself that these particular sections were actually quite effective!


The Holiday – T.M.Logan

I did get a bit frustrated waiting for the death, and there are a lot of  perspectives used so you have to remember who is who/their story etc. However, with patience, it builds well with lots of potential/possibility for who will actually die, and why. This element I liked a lot! 

Also, this is another excellent use of location in terms of it feeling ‘locked’ and there's some wonderful imagery. I decided not to view the C5 adaptation when it aired as I knew the book and sometimes when I have read (and enjoyed), the show will not work for me!

Tuesday 25 July 2023

The man at the gate - Part 2

 The 'what happened next...'

Following on from last week, if you've read the blog post from last Tuesday, you'll know that in the summer of 2021 I had an unwanted visitor...

After playing Poirot, I discovered he was the first owner of the house and had sold it on years back. It had been sold a few times before I purchased it. At this point, I started to think that he was just confused!

When he was sent on his way in July 21 he was told if he returned that he would be arrested, therefore I couldn't quite believe it when he came back again in spring last year when nobody was home! Luckily, my neighbour let me know and another neighbour called the police. 

        The man was saying it was his house and that he wanted to gain entry.

Unfortunately, it was PCSOs that arrived and they said (to me) that they didn't have the power to arrest him, and thankfully, he went on his way of his own accord... 

This time, I put my foot down, with regards to safeguarding concerns as, basically, he was living in sheltered housing and was encouraged 'short walks' - not long drives! I pointed out to the officer (that I had been previously given as a contact) that he was buying a new car each time to make the journey - we were able to obtain records of purchase for each car using the number plates.

A welfare team visited and he was assessed as raising many concerns... To my knowledge (they weren't able to tell me everything) he was then place in an EMI style home and not allowed out on his own again.

        Safety had to be a priority - him and ours. He was confused, at times violent (he broke the gate in two different ways on two of the visits) and a danger to those on the roads as well - it was a long journey.

To this day, the 'visits' he made have haunted me as there were points, until I discovered WHO he was/ that he was away safely, that I feared his return... I still think it's the councils fault for discussing his moving date without checking any details - I'd been on the phone to them, using the address, the house wasn't up for rent/sale and they didn't check anything - they just took his word that he was moving in and this made him convinced he was.

    I understand only too well how cruel the ageing brain can be having been witnessed my Nan's dementia decline, but I will never forgive the people at the council for not talking across the departments. If A had spoken to B and B to C and A, it wouldn't have escalated.

Have YOU ever had anything like this happen?

Sunday 23 July 2023

Another Sunday Snippet -

The escape pod – fifteen minutes and counting:

The digital countdown clock on the wall was Paul’s only opponent. Two minutes had whizzed by already and there were twelve minutes left to escape…

‘Think I’ll stick to a full hour escape room next time!’ Paul spun the digits on the padlock using a code he’d just found in a number maze on the back wall. Playing solo is no fun either, he thought.

7732, a tug of the lock and the black box was open, revealing an envelope that contained a clue.

This new pop-up concept needed volunteers to trial it and Paul had secured a slot. Although he was now wishing he hadn’t! The experience lacked the story line that made all the other rooms memorable. Plus, it was dark and cramped with an unidentifiable smell.

‘Ok, next puzzle – an anagram,’ he declared aloud, missing having someone to talk to as he had always completed games with his wife previously. 

ehad     oruy     bovae     pu    loko 

‘Toooooo easy,’ he announced aloud as he looked up – giving the owners the feeback they wanted.

His celebratory mood soon changed. ‘There’s nothing up there?’ he called into the CCTV and microphone to notify his ‘Games Master.’


A much-needed clue pinged in:


Paul scratched his head. It was claustrophobic in the pod and a bead of sweat was forming across his forehead. What am I missing? His initial observation of the two-metre cube (on being locked in) was how bare it was apart from the puzzle on the wall, the black box and the red cube chair.

Ding! 00:10:00

‘The cube chair,’ Paul muttered as he began to feel the edges of the red plastic box. The edges were joined, but not tightly. Manoeuvring the plastic with his palms, Paul managed to slide the top face off towards him. This revealed a torch, a code sheet, a whiteboard and a pen.

Instinct kicked in and Paul shone the torch up onto the ceiling. This revealed a series of four codes that he immediately set about writing onto the whiteboard. He glanced at the countdown timer (00:06:45) and knew that he needed to hurry.

The seconds ticked by and turned into minutes.

With less than two minutes remaining, Paul had the exit code for the keypad on the pod of the door!


A brief, victory tune played, and the door clicked opened. He done it! 

Ahh, daylight and freedom!

Thursday 20 July 2023

Book review: Local Girl Missing – Claire Douglas

 *May contain spoilers...

Are you tired of getting to the end of a book and there always being a happy ending?

Well, look no further than Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas because I can honestly say that when I first read this book, I was delighted with the bold ending!

Whilst there is an uncertainty to the fate of one character, the unexpected events (and mind-blowing twist) help the ending to stick in your mind after reading.

Littered with beautiful descriptions throughout, this has an unusual narrative that alternates between a diary from the past and a present tense narrative that addresses another character. Both viewpoints drive the story forward to the shocking conclusion.

I instantly looked for other stories to read from this author when finishing!

Can you name a story where the ending really delivered?

Tuesday 18 July 2023

The man at the gate - Part 1

Home sweet home?

In May 2021 just before 11am, a scruffily dressed man (driving a white car) turned up at our house saying it was his. Nobody was home so he knocked at the neighbours, to say the house was his. It isn't!  

The following month (near to the end of it) he returned at about 12:35pm and attempted to gain entry through the garden gate and was forcibly trying to get in, even when the gate was locked. Thankfully, I wasn't home alone!    

    This time, he was smartly dressed and driving a blue car!

In the middle of July, a letter to provide a pin number for an online council account that we hadn't requested was on the doormat when I got in! The following day, having phoned the local council to query this letter, the reply was that it was likely an error in someone typing a reference number and to ignore it.

    It soon transpired that receiving the letter wasn't an error as he had returned wanting ‘his paperwork,’ which I later realised to be the pin number. Due to the force in which he used in order to try to enter the property and the fact the neighbours had informed of his previous visit, I phoned 999 and requested police assistance for us whilst the gate was barricaded to stop it breaking!

What happened next was unbelievable as it turned out that he had told the council that he was moving in on 17th and they had transferred the Council Tax to him! A letter even arrived in his name!

    I discovered all of this by phoning the council and when I did so (explaining the situation and that the police were on route) the man at the Council that I had been referred to - with the man at the gate naming him for us to speak to - knew what property I was about to tell him about from my opening sentence! What?!

    He confirmed that the property had been raising suspicion due to the online team being unable to grant the man's wishes due to him not being able to get through security questions. He also said his colleague (in the tax department) had had dealings with him too, and had been suspicious as well!

    Another lady that I then spoke to (it did feel like they passed the issue around, nobody taking any responsibility) even said that she had been speaking to him that morning and that when he’d given her contact numbers previously, she had been unable to contact him. 

Why weren’t alarm bells ringing? 

See next week's blog on Tuesday for what happened next!

Sunday 16 July 2023

The Inner Thoughts of a Hungry and Cheeky Bunny

Initially written as a two-hundred words story for a competition and now slightly edited/extended.

Hungry. Waiting. Hungry. Waiting.

What is that thing she’s looking at and tapping? I like to nibble the rubber casing that it’s trapped in on the occasions that she’s stupid enough to leave it on the floor.

Using my paws, I’ve had a try at tapping too, and there were things moving around under my paws, but my eyes didn’t see the interest – personally.

Bored now! I know, I’ll speed things along…



‘Don’t do that Peeps, you’ll hurt your teeth.’

I’m not worried about my teeth, it’s tummy I’m thinking about…

Damn, it’s not worked…she’s stroking my head now. I know, I’ll look cute: eyes wide, nose twitching…

Anyhow, ‘Peeps…’ what’s that about? I’m sure she called me Sweep when I first arrived! All these nicknames make it hard to know when she’s talking to me…and equally easy for me to deny I’m being spoken to! Afterall, I’m a rabbit, not a monkey. So, when she says, ‘Stop eating the carpet Monkey, or Piglet…’ how am I meant to know that is meant for me, Sweep – rabbit?

Finally, there’s movement. She must have heard my rumbling tummy.

            Success! A nice pile of hay. Think I’ll do what I did yesterday and put four large bits in at once, that got her worried! That’ll teach her to keep me waiting!

Tuesday 11 July 2023

A quick re-cap and another funny tale…

The re-cap...

I hope you enjoyed my review of The Solstice Baby & Other Stories by J.M.Langan last week. Here is an adapted version of my blog post on Amazon, where you can get a copy of the book for yourself:

I have also linked her blog (How I like my coffee) onto my page permanently along with the other blogs that are featured here too.

Another funny tale...

You could say that trouble follows me around…

A couple of summers ago, I went for a walk with a friend on the fields behind my house. We’d been walking for about ten/fifteen minutes when we cut through a small woodland and then came out to other side.

    We then heard a dog bark and I said, ‘Well I'm glad I'm not in the woods now!’ because it was quite a harsh bark. We carried on round past these thick, dense bushes and we heard it bark again.

    Instantly we turned to each other and said, ‘That doesn't sound quite right!’ 

    I thought that the dog was perhaps lost and my friend, X, thought that the dog was hurt. I do love dogs but I’m nervous if there is one that I don't know – especially if they aren’t on a lead, whereas my friend is so kind and loves all animals. She’s also very brave and part Super Woman too! 

    In reply, I said, ‘Yeah maybe it's got lost, or caught or tired up or something…’

So, because we couldn't see it (the area was really thick with brambles) we decided to go round a different way as I knew a cut through.

    The overgrown bushes made me take a couple of attempts to find the cut through and I was like, ‘It's here,’ (it wasn’t) ‘it's here,’ (it wasn’t) a few times which was making us laugh. BUT… as we could still hear it barking oddly – such a piercing sound – it was more of a nervous laugh from us both.  

We found the cut through and carried on. At this point, the barking was clearly moving, and the dog wasn’t in the location that it was in before. X was worried that it'd been dumped or was injured, and I'm thinking maybe its lead has got caught around a tree…

    All of a sudden, we heard it again and we knew that it’s nearer as we heard its collar too. Again, the bush is too brambly and dense to get in…so we keep walking along the path to see if there is a clearer part when I see some people coming; they've got some dogs. I wave to get the girl’s attention - thinking maybe it's theirs/maybe they can help, and her dad moved to nearer to us.

    I said ‘There's a loose dog, we think.’

    He said, ‘Oh yes, we heard it but we didn't like the noise so we walked a different way!’

After, X and I thought this was a bit strange!

    I then said, ‘Well it doesn't sound quite right so we're going to have to phone the RSPCA.’

    At this point there was this other lady standing behind them, and they said they’d help try to catch it. So, I said if they walk one way, we’d walk the other way and then we’d all meet in the middle. Typical bossy (teacher) me organising everyone – lol!

    The three of them carried on with their dogs, and we carried on round the other way. X Googled the RSPCA phone number but hadn’t given it to me as we were talking about why the people had walked away from the sound initially: Was it their dog? Had they dumped it? Was it ill etc?

    We still agreed that something didn’t feel right…

Next, we made our way round the other side of the trees again as we could still hear the dog. At one point, it came so close so my friend just shot in and was between brambles in a slightly more open clearing. I told you she’s Super Woman!

    I decided that I didn’t want to go in because I felt nervous and I had started to realise how much ground it was covering and that it likely wasn’t on a lead. I didn’t have the number for the RSPCA  (I don't use data on my phone so couldn’t Google myself), and I am now worried about X as she is out of sight amongst a load of brambles and an unknown dog!

    I then decided to phone to our local warden as she's possibly in the area... Nope, she’s not long left the area – typical! But, she asked me to explain what was happening. 

As I was explaining, the people with the dogs – the man and his daughter - came back around. He said, ‘It belongs to that woman!’

    I asked if he meant the lady that was behind them when we first spoke and he said, ‘Yeah, yeah.’

    I said that we had assumed that she was with them! She hadn’t been – odd as she had heard what we were saying!

    He then explained that they had just walked past her and that she was sitting down round the other side (I’m not sure how she got ahead of them unless they did the long loop round). He continued and said that he asked her if she had heard the dog and that she replied, ‘Yes it's mine it and likes to do this, so I let it run like this every day!’

    He then said to me, ‘I'm not being funny, but I've been over here for twelve years, twice a day, and I’ve never seen it.’

    My reply was that I go over there lots at different times and that I haven’t ever seen or heard it either.

    He went on to say that he thought she was a bit crazy, and they then went on their way.

Still on the phone to the warden, I repeated what he had said, and she said that the dog warden needed to know. The local warden also said she’d received a call yesterday about a dog barking (same area) but that nothing had come of it as the dog warden doesn't come out unless you can catch it! Cos we all go for walks with giant nets with us – don’t we?

    I said I would phone the Council, but that my friend was still in the bushes and I have missed a call from her, so I’d better get onto her first.

At one point I heard the dog run slightly nearer to me, so I stepped back a bit as I didn’t want a bite on a bottom cheek and X was nowhere in sight!

I hung-up, phoned X and we met back up. She was covered in cuts, scratches, leaves and thorns from the area she had been in! Bless her. The dog had seen her but ignored her and then continued running. She had taken some videos. It was a hound and was sniffing/digging.

Next, we went into a clearing, out of the hot sun, to phone the Council. Once I got through, I had to explain everything that had happened, and my friend had to describe the dog/its actions.

    Then, the lady asked us to see if the woman with the dog was where the man said she was...

    Nervous that she had already heard me (and my big mouth) say I was going to phone the RSPCA – yet chosen to ignore me when she’d been behind the man and his daughter – when we located the woman, I whispered to the lady at the council that I was going to pretend to be on the phone to someone else! I talked utter nonsense as I walked past the woman who was sitting reading a book, and X was pretending to text and managed to get a photo of her. Go us! Super spies!

Out of sight (and earshot) we looked at the photo and were asked about what we had seen! The photo really helped as we were asked if there was any proof of ownership – yes, a dog lead around her neck and a bowl on the floor for water (for which there was none, but that could’ve been in her bag).

    We both explained – phone on loudspeaker – that we had felt the need to report this because of the welfare of the dog, and even the woman. I also said about children that play out on the field, safeguarding etc. Even though the dog had ignored X, children might antagonise it and it may, therefore, react differently as there was NO WAY the woman could even see it from where she was sitting.

    The call ended with the lady laughing and saying that I am in such frequent contact with the council that I’ll be invited to their Christmas party at this rate! Backstory - I had called them about two other things recently (once being a noisy neighbour complaint and the other reason, well…keep your eyes on future blog posts for these tales as there is going to be a series of three of them)!

Anyway, fast forwarding now and cutting out a couple of bits before this is an essay, not blog post, my details were passed to the dog warden.

Then, the next day, the dog warden called and says she needed some more details – I’m not sure how much more I could give!

    Basically, there had been another report of a barking dog, this time during the night, and they caller couldn’t locate where it was coming from so she wants me to send a map of where we were, where exactly the bramble area is (she isn’t very familiar with the area – h e l p f u l,  hey?) so I then annotated some maps and sent them via email. I was also asked to get my friend to email the photo of the woman and the videos of the dog that she took whilst in the bushes!

Luckily my friend took it all in her stride (pun not intended) as an adventure, and said, ‘Blimey, even going for a walk with you turns into something!’

Yep, typical me! ISLA and her adventures!

Tuesday 4 July 2023

Book review and author interview - J.M.Langan

Something a little different...

For my blog this week, I review a book and provide an author interview. Enjoy!


    The Solstice Baby & Other Stories by J.M. Langan

Dark, gory, humorous, evocative, and so much more!

In Langan’s The Solstice Baby & Other Stories, just like selection boxes of chocolate, there is something for everyone.

Organised into different themes - Fairy Tales for Grown Ups/Speculative Fiction/Horror/Nature/ People and 555 (five, one-hundred stories written over five days) - this this collection of stories kept me entertained for days as I dipped in and out, selecting a different theme or length of story each time.

Whilst I am unable to pick a favourite (and think them all worthy of a second read another time), here are some of the standouts for me:

Dark - Púca

The normal, everyday life, opening to this tale serves as a brilliant red herring before the sinister undertone appears. It had me wondering where/when the fairy tale element would emerge... When it does, the typical notion of good v bad emerges to a crescendo of an ending that left me speechless and exclaiming “No!” out loud as I was initially shocked at what I was reading. My shock was followed a sense of admiration for Langan’s brave ending – I love an ending where everything isn’t rosy and fine!


Gory – The Butcher’s Tattoo

Following the trail on the blurb to go to The Butcher’s Tattoo for some gore, I bravely turned to page 67 (I am a bit of a wuss with anything too gory) to see if I could cope! I immediately wondered if I could! Then the story softened – the perfect juxtaposition of the home setting, before heading back to work where there is gore aplenty... This tale is deceptive in title, which works well, and it took me down a different path to what I predicted. 

            The story interested me due to the nature of things I tend to write about myself, and I found the gore fitted the action well. Langan takes the reader through a few twists along the way, and I was more than glad that I braved it!


Humorous – The Self-Cleaning Woman

This made me chuckle to myself as it’s witty, unexpected, then thoughtful and reflective. Not at all what I expected, but in a good way!


Evocative – The Solstice Baby

Wow! I was drawn in from the off and I found myself reading faster and faster as the climax approached. A masterclass of short story telling. Whilst I am used to reading and writing in darker genres, this hit on a different level. I had tears running down my face and was so, so moved. It’s easy to see why Langan picked this as the lead story title for the anthology. As I said before – wow!


And so much more…

From the sensitivity of Jesolo, to the unique spacing of Him and Me, then to the brilliant 555 collection, and the stunning descriptive writing of Rooted, everything else in Langan’s anthology is equally enjoyable as the stories that I have individually celebrated here.

Langan has such an apt way of observing people, processes and things (some beyond reality). Her style changes are a pleasant surprise, whilst the craft that has gone into perfecting these is to be admired. There really is something for everyone.

Want to get yourself a copy? It’s available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle format:

Author interview:

Here, Jane answers some questions -


Q1. What inspired you to write this book?

A1. That’s a tricky question as each story came from a different place. Some of the stories, like Púca and The China Doll were written for my masters in creative writing with the Open University (OU). Others came from writing prompts or just out of my imagination. The Solstice Baby story is a version of my story. I’m adopted and my parents got me on the Winter Solstice, other than that the story is pure fiction.


Q2. What did you learn when writing your book?

A2. I have always written something. I have written a diary since I was a child and still do. I have written a blog since 2009. I have written poetry and stories in the back of notebooks for years. I just decided, around the time I was fifty, that I should stop putting them at the back of the books and bring them to the front.

              What I have learned is that writing is a job. You need to set time for it and then put your pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard and just write – it may be nonsense and it may be nothing. But occasionally a gem of a thing emerges. I have also learned my grammar is rubbish and I have to work really hard to ensure it isn’t!

              I also learned, when I was editing The Solstice Baby and Other Stories, that all these stories hold up in their own right (in my opinion) even the ones I thought weren’t as good after I had just written them. They are a body of work, which I have poured and stressed over and I should be proud of that.


Q3. Which is your favourite story in your book?

A3. That’s like choosing a favourite child, but if I must – I like Socks – It’s a 50-word story that really gets to the essence of being a parent. For a longer piece, probably Púca – not necessarily because I think it is the best story, but because I poured everything, I had into it. It was the first story I handed in as a TMA for the OU – It has been rewritten, renamed and all sorts. It is also, probably, the closest to the style of fiction I like best. I like stories set in reality, but with a twist.


Q4. You say you treat writing as a job, how many hours a day do you write?

A4. My day starts and 9am and usually finishes about 3pm so I can cook dinner for my family – my husband works shifts and my youngest daughter gets in about 4pm after school - they are usually famished. I can’t always write all day – like most writers I have a side hustle – I have a little shop on Etsy that sells gifts and curated vintage things. Most mornings I fill in the spreadsheet to show what I have sold, print out packing slips and postage labels and at lunch time package up things. I go to the post office every other day, except at Christmas time when it gets really busy and I have to go daily. After I have done that, I check the Castle Priory Press email and respond to any queries there if Ruth hasn’t got there first. I also make any amendments to the website etc. After that it’s time to write – usually by about 10am – 11am. I write poetry, short stories and novels. When I am novel writing, I tend to be quite focused and do nothing but that. When I am working on poetry or short stories, I also look at competitions I can enter or magazines who are looking for submissions. Sometimes, If I don’t feel I have done enough, I will work in the evenings. Especially if my husband is on the late shift.


Q5. If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

A4. I was quite wild as a teenager, but always into reading and writing. The only O level I got an A in was English Literature. I also did OK in English Language – although I think the curriculum back then let me down, which I realised when I came to do my BA and realised how awful my grammar was. That stopped me writing. My first degree was in Drama and English Literature – In the first year my English lecturer made me feel like a complete idiot, sent me to ‘special’ classes to help my grammar and made me rewrite numerous essays – I only just scraped through my first year. The whole thing bashed my confidence and I stopped writing creatively for a quite a while. If that hadn’t happened, I think I would have gone down the master’s route sooner. And the more I write, I believe, the better I become at it.

I read somewhere that it takes about six novels to become a good novel writer – I have written three. The first still needs so much editing it scares me. The second is in a good place but I know it could be better. The third is written but again needs editing. So, I just have three more to go and then who knows.

 Thanks, Jane!

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