My writing is influenced by mythology, plants and ripping yarns. I read widely and ravenously. Books that grab my attention are likely to contain one or more of the following elements: magic realism, folklore, myth, weird fiction, off-kilter realities, adventure stories; lost worlds; strong plots; playful language; wit; wisdom; irreverence.

For me, one of the most positive uses of social media is as a source of paintings, photographs, illustrations that I may not have otherwise come across.

When I do happen across an image that inspires me, I save a copy. For creative writing, I use the writers’ software tool Scrivener ( This allow me to display the picture alongside my text. Of course, a simple alternative is to have a ‘mood board’ on your wall, where you pin your pictures.

Below are a selection of my influences.

Authors influencing my writing:

Isabel Allende

Margaret Atwood

Angela Carter

Neil Gaiman

H Rider Haggard

Gabriel García Márquez

Haruki Murakami

Joyce Carol Oates

Favourite Books include

House of Leaves, Mark Z Danielewski

The Tin Drum, Günter Grass

Falling Angel, William Hjortsberg

The Odyssey, Homer

Perfume, Patrick Süskind

Top Reads of 2018

The Truth and Other Lies, Sascha Grango – dark thriller

Folk, Zoë Gilbert – dark, immersive folklore

The Drive, Tyler Keevil – road trip

The Loney, Andrew Hurley – atmospheric, suspenseful

Justine, Alice Thompson – sensual, gothic tale

The Overstory, Richard Powers – the biological story of a tree and the interconnected social story of people 

Women Talking, Miriam Toews – harrowing story set in Mennonite colony based on true events

Cat Person, Kristen Roupenian – when dates go wrong

Come, Let us Sing Anyway, Leone Ross – elegantly erotic and witty magic realism populated by drag queens, threesomes and headless schoolgirls

Her Body & Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado – gothic magic realism about women and patriarchy

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