“Her voice is filled with distant sonorities, like reverberations in a cave: now you are at the place of annihilation, now you are at the place of annihilation. And she is herself a cave full of echoes, she is a system of repetitions, she is a closed circuit.”
— Angela Carter, “The Lady of the House of Love,” The Bloody Chamber.
I am a senior lecturer in creative writing at the University of Bedfordshire. I have a first class honours degree in Creative Writing, and a Masters by Research (Creative Writing) with Distinction. For my masters, I wrote a novel about brother-sister incest, Clutching Shadow, which was shortlisted for the Cinnamon Press novel prize (2008). I’m a published prose poet, and (mostly) a writer of dark fantasy fiction, although recently I’ve branched out into memoir. I’m really interested in exploring the links between writing and our psychology. Why do we write? What drives us on, and why might we write what we write? These questions fascinate me, and indeed are the subjects of many discussions between my students and myself.
Because I have mixed depression and anxiety disorder (I prefer the term ‘live with’ rather than ‘suffer from’ although suffering is a part of the condition), I’m also really interested in exploring the link between creativity and mental ill health. My blog will explore that, along with writing about my lived experiences. I’m really interested in helping break down the stigma that so many of us still experience.
I love to read, and try to be eclectic in my choice of material. I do favour dark fantasy, but like to read well-written contemporary literature, teen fiction, and historical fiction. And I’m in love with books about the natural world.