Blog

Spreading the Woodstock Word

When I first came to live in Woodstock in the blazing summer of 1976, Blenheim Palace slept behind its gardens of burned grass and the town was full of antiques. There wasn’t a book in sight. A small, badly-run bookshop opened and folded without anyone noticing. A friend of mine who taught computer studies told

Continue Reading

It’s a Small World

Here is the third of the three short stories in the linked chain … It’s a Small World Clare Davenport ran her leather-gloved fingers over the train’s window, trying to see through to something other than the surly night. The train had ground to a halt again in its attempt to conquer the wrong kind

Continue Reading

Nothing to Lose

Here is the second of the three short stories in the linked chain … Nothing to Lose The patisserie in the centre of Soho rang with the buzz of Saturday-lunch voices and the chink of cups. “Delicious.” Laura Forbes wiped the froth from her lips. “This place serves the best coffee in London.” “After the

Continue Reading

The Man on the Train

Several years ago, I was asked to write three short stories linked by some of the same characters. Here is the first … The Man on the Train Melanie Richards, wide awake at six that February morning, knew that today was either going to be spectacular or an absolute catastrophe. There’d be no half measures.

Continue Reading

The Empty Room

The first two stories were about mothers and daughters. Here is a slightly longer one about a father and his daughter. The Empty Room Charles slept so heavily that by the time the December dawn broke, he seemed unable to open his eyes. He rolled them around his head but gum clamped the lids together.

Continue Reading

Belinda’s Lucky Day

And here is another short story … Belinda’s Lucky Day Belinda sat opposite her lawyer in his highly polished office, bitterly aware she wore down-at-heels shoes and woollen gloves with a hole in the right thumb. She started to pray. “As you know,” boomed Mr Godber, drumming podgy fingers, “your dear mother, Mrs Hilda Stubbs,

Continue Reading

Apples and Pears

I love writing short stories. The fact they are short does not mean they are easy. Often the fewer words you are allowed, the harder life becomes. My best short stories are crisp and modern. Here is one of many … Apples and Pears At noon, a dusty sun high in an even dustier London

Continue Reading

Awakenings

Stephen hesitated at the door of the conservatory. “Oh, and Beatrice …” I turned to look at him. “Yes, dear?” “Better luck next time?” His eyes were black with pain. I flushed with humiliation. “Yes, Stephen, of course …” Shame, guilt and anxiety gripped my heart. Blood seeped between my thighs. “Better luck next time.”

Continue Reading

My first blog

I am absolutely delighted to be able to write my first ever blog, mostly to thank so many readers who have written to me over the past two years to tell me how much they enjoyed LARKSWOOD. I had buried myself away in a rented cottage in Long Hanborough in order to do battle with

Continue Reading