A Love Letter to Switzerland

This is one of the most intimate pieces of writing I have ever shared: a love letter to Switzerland, the country that welcomed me for seven years, where my children and my novel were born. Thanks to my colleagues at The Woolf Quarterly over in Zurich for prompting me to write it: digging into the emotions that inspired a whole novel was a challenge, but cathartic!


to read my Love Letter to Switzerland on The Woolf.

On the Edge

On a perfectly normal family holiday to the south coast of England, I wandered to the edge of this cliff. It was the silence that drew me there - not until you get right to the lip of the land does the sound of the surf warn you of the danger ahead. After a few seconds - enough to film this video - my vertigo kicked in and I scurried back to the path. The sheep who sleep on the edge watched me retreat with disdain.

Later that day, I wrote a short story about a woman who stands on this spot, looking for her family, scared she may fall. Little does she know that she's already fallen.

The story, called The Lily Stains White, is available for free by clicking the orange banner at the top of this page. 

Cliff top near the Smugglers Inn, Weymouth UK

Radio Daze: how a career in broadcasting influences my fiction

“Let the listener invent their own dragon.” I can’t remember who uttered this line, but it has stayed in my mind since last century, when I took a BBC News Skills training course in London.

The nervy young broadcast journalists renamed it News Kills. Until a man in tweed came to our stuffy classroom to impart his code for living: “It’s only radio, but it’s what we do.”

I learned to create sound pictures that let the listener see “their own dragon”. Why state you’re on a beach when you can immerse the audience in surf and seagulls? Why say an interviewee is nervous when you can hear his shallowness of breath between carefully-chosen words? A broadcaster, like a novelist, is a magpie for the glimmering detail that sparks life into a story.

To read more of my guest post about how a career in broadcasting influences my fiction, visit Women Writers.