mercredi 25 novembre 2015

My debut detective novel

I've been absent from this space. I've been off writing, in my house, in Catalonia, in Donostia, in the South of France and in the middle of the forest in a wooden house that's off the GPS. Since my last post, I've finished the first draft of my detective novel. It was one of those books that ran out of my fingers, shouting and kicking onto the page.

There's been much work and all of the business of burning the candle at both ends and many, many (far too many) late nights. I bless coffee, green tea and sea-swimming for keeping my boat afloat (as well as my amazing family!). 

To keep my inspiration hooked on the polar, or roman noir, - as they call detective novels in French - I've been reading Chandler, J. Ellroy, Nicci French, Paretsky, Ruth Rendell and Jane Casey.  I also dipped into Girls this summer, watched Macbeth and King Lear. I read This Too Shall Pass, by Milena Busquets (we share the same Literary Agency Pontas) and loved it. 

In-between times, I've been contributing to various magazines and reviews, working on film projects and a collaboration with a painter, but will update on all of that later....

jeudi 9 juillet 2015

Litro: Anything Could Happen Here

My short story Anything Could Happen Here, is published in Litro this week.

My piece, The Pull of The Moon, appeared in Litro in their French addition, alongside work by Michel Houellenbecq, a couple of years ago. Litro is, in their words, "A little London Lit mag with a great world view", their stories transport you.... 

vendredi 12 juin 2015

Visual verse: Loom Love

I'm contributing to Visual Verse again this month, my piece is called Loom Love. I was inspired by teenage outsiders, devious little elastic bands and the image by Sigrid Calon. You can read Loom Love here.

vendredi 5 juin 2015

Pontas and Etonnants Voyageurs

Etonnants Voyageurs, one of the most important French literary festivals, is held in the coastal town of Saint Malo, where I wrote my début novel The Tide That Took The Sea. The festival is a brilliant event, bringing in authors from across the world. I've met some extraordinary writers such as Xinran, David Vann, Mathias Enard and Maylis de Kerangal. This year, I had a great evening with Marc de Gouvernain from the Pontas Agency. 

mercredi 27 mai 2015

Marc Didou: Presence and Absence, Standing In A Certain Light


Spectrale © Marc Didou 2015
Spectrale © Marc Didou 2015

 At the end of a tree-lined single track, tucked into the cove of a salt-marsh Breton estuary, lies a modest stone chapel, a pilgrimage site to Sainte Marie, patron saint of the sailors who for decades crossed the seas from here to Canada to fish for cod. Even today, numerous statutes, freshly-picked flowers, lit candles and tiny notes adorn an altar built into the stone wall; "Please Saint Mary...", they say.
        International artist Marc Didou's recently-comissioned gate Spectrale (2015) now opens the way into this mysterious space. An anamorophic piece, the gate can appear as a simple iron-work, a delicate, almost lacy structure. But, from a certain angle, when the light is right, a female face appears, looming from the portal; a spectre of Juno to carry us across the threshold. "The Roman goddess Juno", Marc told me when we met, "Symbolises the beginning and the end", opening and closing. According to the season, the luminosity and the foliage on the trees; there is something here, or nothing.
                     Didou's work explores the ideas of absence and presence, the difference between 'voir' and 'regarder' what we look at and what we see. The Spectrale is part of a show, three works currently exhibited together. Echo contre ciel, depicts a bronze head based on a MRI scan of Didou, it is executed he says, almost as though "I am sculpting blindly"; his trace, his sculptor's touch absent in the shape. The third piece Pipeline Fossile, turns a petrol pipe inside out and restores it to a log-like form- recounting the origins of the petrol that once travelled inside; the secret, the invisible cyclical story of the pipeline.
            Since I saw this work last week, it is the Spectrale gate that - literally - continues to haunt me, particularly it's acute relationship with the site, echoing the intimate act of pilgrimage, the invisible hands that arrange the flowers, strike the matches, write the notes; the spirituality that can be present or absent, or may catch us, unexpectedly, when we stand in a certain light....

For more information on Marc Didou.

For more information on the exhibition organised by the association L'Art au Fils de Rance.

lundi 25 mai 2015

Visual Verse : We Can Be Bought And Sold

I've written a piece for Visual Verse this month, We Can Be Bought And Sold, about the brain, neurosciences and people as supermarket barcodes. You can read it here

mardi 12 mai 2015

A Chuckle. A Dip. A Crack : Visual Verse

Been trying to get back to writing for Visual Verse every month. It's a spontaneous, unpremeditated  experience, there's no time for prevarication, hesitation and reflection, just a little mental churn over ideas (a tiny prayer that the vein tapped will yield some gold) and then fingers on keyboard. Write, write, write.