I’m currently working on three novels – the first is being edited, while the other two are still being written. All titles are working titles.
I’m represented by Kerry Glencorse at Susanna Lea Associates for my fiction-writing.
The Forest That Eats Bone
Harriet is one of the first historians to travel back in time. But will she be tempted to use this new technology illegally to reunite with her sister Matilda, who died five years ago?
Harriet Atwater, a 23-year-old doctoral student in history at Cambridge, joins a secret research project in the fourteenth-century fenland after the head of the project goes missing. As they search for him throughout the flooded landscape and encounter the local villagers, Harriet becomes uneasily aware that this alternative medieval timeline is mirroring the sinister imaginary game that she and her sister created as children. As Harriet starts to wonder if there is a connection between this world and her own past, she becomes increasingly tempted to abandon the project and try to save her sister – especially as she has always blamed herself for Matilda’s death.
The image is of Denny Abbey, in Cambridgeshire. Credit: me.
I worked on this novel during a three-month Curtis Brown Creative novel-writing course, which I completed in March 2016. I was one of the six writers selected for a Fiction Feedback event with Ella Diamond Kahn via Spread the Word in June 2016, I was selected for Penguin Random House’s Write Now Live event in February 2017, and shortlisted for Retreat West’s First Chapter Competition in July 2017. I was mentored by Sam Eades at Orion through the WoMentoring Project from 2017 to 2018.
A loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in present-day Antarctica.
After making a serious clinical error, 34-year-old junior doctor Kit Chalmers, who has also recently come out as a lesbian, abruptly flees a promising medical career in the US to become a medic on an Antarctic base. Her estranged father, Gerard, follows her there to try and stage a reconcilation, but comes down with a mysterious illness, and starts rambling about ‘yeti’ that are stalking in the permanent polar night. As Kit strikes out into the wilderness herself, a series of mysterious happenings linked to the frozen lakes at Vostok and Fryxell make her start to wonder if her father has stumbled upon something supernatural. Will Kit work out what’s happening in the farthest south – and will she be able to resolve the personal crisis that’s driven her so far from home?
The image shows an ice cave on the Erebus Glacier tongue, in Antarctica. Credit: Joel Bensing/AFP/Getty Images.
I completed some initial research for this novel at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge in April 2018. A initial outline of the novel was selected as a finalist for the Speculative Literature Foundation’s Gulliver Travel Grant in 2019.
Of Others and Elizabeth
Wiltshire, 1886. When middle-class Elizabeth and working-class Jack meet briefly, it will alter them both forever, although they’ll only meet once again.
Jack Radden, a young farm labourer, secretly longs to manipulate others’ lives and others’ secrets, although the isolated village where he lives does not offer him much scope. When he hears of the Hayes family and their ambitious daughter, Elizabeth, he is soon plotting to find a place for himself among the Hayes servants, who have formed their own complex web of alliances. However, it is Elizabeth that he eventually comes face to face with and Elizabeth who becomes his primary target – unless she can save herself by breaking him. Told in four different voices confined to a single household, Of Others and Elizabeth explores how our small misreadings of others – even those we feel we know best of all – can lead to much bigger consequences.
The image shows woodland near Conkwell, Wiltshire. Credit: me.