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Welcome readers, writers, friends. My novels and short stories explore the complexity of relationships, and how the environments we live in shape us. They also reflect my interests in history, art, literature and philosophy.

My debut novel The Worry Bottles was shortlisted for the 2017 Impress Prize for New Writers. Find out more in this interview by book & brew. Or sign up to my readers’ mailing list if you would like to be informed when The Worry Bottles is published. (You will also receive my recent, Edward King short story, ‘Persephone in Winter’, as a welcome gift.)

Read on for an extract from Sapling, the short story I wrote for the Portsmouth News, or find out more about me here.

Picture of a Sapling

Sapling

I know it was a Saturday when I first saw the sapling, because it was the same day I drove Lydia to the station, and I don’t like to drive on Saturdays. During the week there are site visits to fit in so I’m expected to drive to the office, to sit queuing for inch-gains of tarmac, to inhale the same invisible particulates as everyone else, to allow my spine to curve into the car-seat shape, soft and passive.

At the office my childhood conditioning is reasserted. I sit or stand with spine erect as I draw lines. ‘Don’t slouch boy, it will become a habit.’ My father’s voice. His figure in the coffin remained unbent, a long straight line.

On weekends I don’t drive. I work in the garden using only manual tools. So, after dropping Lydia at the station and saying an awkward goodbye – watching her struggle to hoist heavy bags towards the departure door – I returned home and garaged the car. I headed for the wildest part of the back garden, skirting around the collapsed remains of the insect house, which looked like one of those simulations: the effect of an earthquake on a low storey building. A few dispossessed insects were making their unsteady way across the garden. […]  read more

Are you a writer? If so, you might be interested in my reflections on yoga for writers or my recommended resources for writers.