My writing life is a strange beast. I often take extensive (mostly unplanned) breaks from it. Sometimes I’m obsessed with it. It is what it is. One thing I do know is that it’s a driving force in my life. It can feel like a high or a curse, but it’s there, all the time.
My writing background is as a playwright, but I’ve also, more recently, tried my hand at short story writing and have had several published. It’s a hard genre, but it’s incredibly rewarding when you get it right, which, for me, happens about 30% of the time. I’ve had short fiction published in several literary journals and magazines, including: Cottonmouth, Etchings (9 & 13), The Emerging Writer’s Festival Reader 2009, Beyond Words Anthology 2009, Ciao Magazine and Box Magazine. I also write for Australian Stage Online (as a theatre critic) and won the Ada Cambridge Prize for biographical short fiction in 2009, and was short-listed for the (UK) Fish Short Story Award in 2010. You can read a published flash fiction piece called The Beast here. And a feminist short story called Blood here.
My first novel Beat landed me a residency at Varuna in Sydney in 2008 and is due to hit bookshelves in early 2015. I’m working on my second now.
Below is an excerpt from Beat.
Excerpt from Chapter Two
The force that split Claire Rossetti’s forehead open and obliterated her jaw was a man and he was lying crumpled and twisted half on her lap and half on the gear shaft, an arm flung casually across Adam as if they were old friends. The man was wearing a motorbike helmet painted orange and black. Adam’s head was resting on the window at a gentle angle as if he was deep in thought. Ahead was commotion. In the car with the new car smell of leather and polish a quiet calm was broken by an odd assortment of sounds that began to form a sort of curious harmony. Small, thick chunks of glass from the windscreen were falling everywhere, like spiked rain; over the mangled dash; from the body of the motorcyclist; from Adam’s mother’s head and shoulders; from the back seat and the roof, tinkling. There was a creaking sound, metallic and dull, as if the car itself was shaking out the glass and counting the broken bones – and there was a sonorous rasping sound that floated under all of this – an escaping of air through a hole that wasn’t there before and shouldn’t be there now. Soon the harmony faded away leaving one lone line of melody to carry on on its own; the rasping of air through a hole that shouldn’t be there; a body wrecked; requiem of a modern age.