Thanks to Marnie Riches for passing the baton to me on this blog tour about writing. Marnie’s a writer and a redhead from Manchester, and this pic of her is pretty badass, no?


The sketch for this is that I talk a bit about my writing process without boring the pants off you, so I’ll keep it brief. Good news is I’m handing over to these two talented so-and-sos, who’ll be posting their answers on their own blogs next Sunday…

This girl >


Emily Morris won two 2009 Manchester Blog Awards for her blog about being a single parent, My Shitty Twenties. She is currently writing a memoir of the same name, which will be published by Salt.

And this guy >


Greg Thorpe briefly considered a career as a Shakespearean scholar, but the lure of office life proved too great. After working in academic publishing for twelve years he now works as a freelance writer, editor, book designer and DJ. He is currently looking for a home for his novel The Shakespeare Girl, a contemporary comic novel in which Shakespeare is dug up and the world goes a bit nuts.

But for now…

What am I working on?
A dark comedy set in a campervan, about a woman who has destroyed her life and runs away to Scotland to escape the shame. But then a few days into her trip she sees someone from a long time ago, someone she hasn’t forgiven, and she decides to follow his campervan and have her revenge. So the chase is on.

How does my work differ from others of its genre and why do I write what I do?
I really have no idea. Whenever I’m asked to describe my books I say, ‘Sort of literary but quite chatty’. I’m not sure if that’s helpful, to me or whoever’s asking. Why do I write? To process things, I think. I once interviewed a great thriller writer who told me that fiction was her way of “exacting revenge on life”. I like that. That sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

How does my writing process work?
Slowly, with the aid of many cigarettes, and much stealing of things my friends say. Tough shit. They shouldn’t be so hilarious.

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Animals is published on May 1st and there will be a launch party at Waterstone’s Deansgate that night. Some really special guest readers and a music/flash fiction performance from the brilliant Les Malheureux. Hope to see you there!



ROBERT WILLIAMS, author of Luke and Jon, How the Trouble Started, and new novel Into the Trees (Faber)


GREG THORPE, graduate of MMU Writing School and author of the Manhattanchester blog and debut novel The Shakespeare Girl


MARY-ELLEN MCTAGUE, co-owner and head chef at the award-winning Aumbry, who will be giving a sneak preview from her upcoming collection of semi-autobiographical stories about working in a restaurant



LES MALHEUREUX, who mix together flash fiction, music and projections with shit-tons of wit


It’s free, but please reserve tickets via the shop.

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Animals gets a mention in the May issues of ELLE and Company magazine. It’s also set to be an ELLE Book Club choice, a new thing in conjunction with the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

ELLE MayCompany May

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Animals gets a mention in this week’s Grazia:


It’s also been picked as one of Company‘s 50 Books You Need to Read Before You Die.

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