17th October 2017
My (rather dark) story, 'When You Became Me', was published online today by Fairlight Books Oxford. I've been fascinated by the idea of a dialogue between an older self and younger self since reading letters a number of celebrities were asked to write to the person they once were, giving advice. I thought it might be interesting to approach this from a different angle, as an exploration of what can happen to potential as we grow older. I thought it might also be interesting to look at the period in time when the 'younger self' starts to become the 'older self'. 'When You Became Me' is available to read via the link next to the title on my 'Stories' page. To visit the 'Stories' page click here
25th October 2017
Wonderful news! The story mentioned below appeared in Confingo 8 earlier this week, and yesterday Nicholas Royle, editor the Best British Short Stories, contacted me to say he would like to include it in the 2018 edition. Heartfelt thanks to all at Confingo.
16th October 2017
My story ‘The Homing Instinct’ will be coming out in the next few weeks in the beautifully produced Manchester based journal Confingo for website click here. It’s about a couple of homeless people who befriend one another and are befriended in turn by a grey heron, who comes to visit them every day, for no apparent reason.
The spark for the story was seeing exactly this happen, day after day, week after week, as I walked by the river near my home. Two or three people – it varied – had set up home, very neatly and carefully, under some brick arches about fifty feet from the river bank. I came to expect to see the heron, which had exquisite plumage and a regal manner, standing near them on the grass, very still and vigilant, like some sort of omen. To me, this affinity with a normally timid wild animal of solitary habits seemed almost mystical, and I came to wonder what it might mean to them.
One Monday lunchtime, some months after the story was written, I took my normal walk only to find the arches barred with thick ironwork, presumably at the behest of the local authority: no homeless people, no carefully stacked possessions, no heron, no explanation. I was glad I’d finished the story by then, because otherwise I might not have had the heart to write it.