Shift Zine Launches!

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know it’s no secret that SHIFT Zine has launched, today! 

SHIFT has been months in the making, and really is testament to the power of social media. Several of us had similar ideas about starting a magazine for YA, and Twitter helped us come together. It’s been a trip.

One of the things I really wanted to do was showcase new YA stories directly with readers. In our first issue, we publish two short stories that have never been seen before – something I’m so proud of I could burst. 

The rest of the team and I would love you to check out our first issue, and thank you to everyone who has supported us so far!

Update! Writing, Recs, and Onwards

Haha, long time no blog, right?

I’ve been writing the first draft of a new book, so that’s my go-to excuse, right now. I’m really in love with the story and the characters. And that means I’m terrified no one else will. And, even worse, I’m well aware now of how much a book can be loved and praised by beta readers and crit partners, and then not be loved enough by anyone else to take it further.

Unlike everything else I’ve ever written, this book is contemporary – something I never thought I’d write (and don’t actively choose to read, though I have read a lot this past couple of years).

Here’s a snippet from my MS:


Though this book isn’t ‘about’ sexuality, my gay MC is doing a bit of musing on the subject. It’s been my goal to include bisexual characters in my work for a good long while, and having Ryan, one of my MCs, be able to say “I’m bisexual” out loud felt seriously good.

I went to the launch of one of my most-anticipated books of the year this week – INK, by Alice Broadway. If you’ve any interest in tattoos, social justice, politics or secrets, get your grubby hands on this beautiful book, because it’s incredibly well-written, and such an immersive world of contemporary politics wrapped in fantasy legend and lies. I loved it.

Another books I’ve been reading recently is Laura Steven’s SPLIT KINGDOM. Only available via the Tapas App at the moment, this is a really fabulous swords-and-sorcery novel, in each to read chunks. Laura is a fantastic writer, and this book deserves to do so well.

Also on the Tapas App are two of my current favourite comics – HEARTSTOPPER by Alice Oseman, and THE GOD IN THE FIELD by VVBG. Heartstopper is Alice’s prequel to her novel SOLITAIRE, focussing on the budding relationship between two of her best-loved characters. The God in the Field is a mlm-retelling of the Hades and Persephone story. It is, be aware, rated M in some panels, though isn’t explicit.

On a non-writing and reading note, I’ve started up an Etsy shop selling scrapbooking supplies and prints, and that’s been a nice sideline of creativity for me, and (I’m not being coy) I really need the money.

You can check out my Etsy here:

Or! I have a Ko-Fi account, where you can donate from $3 to support me, help me buy train tickets into London, and generally keep me in the book world loop. Thank you so much to everyone who has already dropped me a few pennies. I have considered starting up a Patreon, but I don’t know what I would offer as rewards, so that’s not something I’m going for, just yet.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. A whole lot of writing, a whole lot of reading, and a whole lot of cutting out! Hopefully, my next blog should be quicker to appear!

Love to you all xx

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My Top Ten Reads of 2016

Last year, I really got back into the swing of reading. And this year I kept up a steady stream of reads, except this year I have been much more critical about what I read.

I’ve DNF’d a lot of books this year. Double figures.

Maybe it’s been my wobbly reading mojo (caused a lot by my medication-inducted inability to concentrate, but more on that another time), or maybe it’s the amount of great literature out there that makes books that are only OK difficult to stick with?

My list below also doesn’t include all of the fanfiction I’ve read this year, many of which were novel-length and better than a lot of books.

But! In reverse order, here are my Top Ten Books of 2016:

Continue reading “My Top Ten Reads of 2016”

Short Story Featured on ‘Just Some Things’

Are you a reader of Grace Latter’s blog? You probably ought to be, if you have any sense whatsoever. 

I was lucky enough to be approached by Grace to write a piece of short fiction based on a prompt. My prompt was:

Introduce Your Long-Term Imaginary Friend

I decided to play fast and loose with the word ‘introduce’, and wrote Cherry’s story from there. You can read it here!

Coming Out, and Writing Out: One Year On


One year ago, I got interviewed by the BBC for Bisexuality Visibility Day. I answered a few questions, and gave a few opinions, and the interview was posted online. I promptly sent the web-page to my parents, and posted it on Facebook.

I was very lucky.

The only negative comments I got were from strangers online, and there weren’t many of those. All of my family and friends were happy and accepting, and it was generally a non-issue in terms of how I interacted with people close to me.

In terms of my writing, it was as though I’d given myself a green light to go forth and bend the heck out of anything and everything. Not a single main character I’ve created since last year has been ‘straight’.

Continue reading “Coming Out, and Writing Out: One Year On”

Starry, Starry Chart

If you’ve been following me on Twitter lately, you might have seen that I’ve been attending, then quit, then started going to therapy again. There are a lot of reasons why I felt I needed to speak to someone qualified to listen, and to ask the right questions, which I’ll save for another time.

But one of the methods employed by the first therapist, who was using a very surface-level approach to CBT, was the idea of rewards and treats.

I had a bit of a problem with this, as I honestly don’t think I do enough to earn a treat every single day. To me, treats are deserved for good writing news, job offers and finishing manuscripts – not walking out to the park, as (in my broken brain) anyone should be able to do that sort of thing. Apparently, this is one of my problems – not thinking what I do accomplish is good enough (oh boy, is that ever true?). The therapist gave me a printed chart to fill in activities, and to rate them based on how enjoyable vs how much of an achievement they were.

It was super, super dumb. For a start, I don’t nevessarily do one activity per hour. If I write, I can be doing that for four – six hours without a break, and the ejoyability level can swing wildly during that time.

I quit that therapist, for unrelated reasons, and whilst the team sorted my out with another, I decided to start tracking my writing progress with some sort of graph. Which led me to Victoria Schwab’s star charts, which led me to thinking that maybe I could do the same thing: I could list five things of importantce – things that I had a good chance of doing – and reward myself with a sticker.

If nothing else, it would look pretty!

Continue reading “Starry, Starry Chart”