A section for miscellaneous articles and posts.


Scent illustrations. in which I talk about my synaestheisa and the process of creating a scent illustration for THE STRAWBERRY THIEF.

Scent and Memory.

Copyright issues

A few words about piracy.  A little piece on why downloading books for free hurts more than just the author.

Why Book Piracy is Killing Libraries, Small Presses and Diversity.

Pro or anti copyright? An exploration of what copyright means, and why it matters to you.


Literature and Folklore: A piece on how the literary world needs to sit up and acknowledge its enormous debt to folklore, fantasy and myth.

Orfeia, a mother’s grief  and the dark side of fairytales. A piece on the writing of Orfeia, and why fairytales are sometimes the only way to talk about the things that matter most to us.

Of Wicked Witches and Jealous Queens: the role of the older woman in folklore.

Child’s Ballads: anything but child’s play. A piece on the enduring, dark appeal of Child’s Ballads.

Gender issues 

On Power, and on Powering Through – and Why They’re Not The Same Thing.

Women – three ways of being invisible.

On menopause and women’s rage, and why it’s a superpower.

On Lord of the Flies, and Why Not All Stories are Gender-Free. Why certain stories are societally gendered.

On Children’s Books, Pigs and Trains and Why we’re Still Talking About Kevin.  A piece on the needless gendering of books.

Brilliant or beautiful -why shouldn’t we be both? On the gendering of children’s books, and what it means in adulthood.

White Feminists, I’m Looking at You. On the responsibilities of privilege, and how to say sorry…

Writing Matters

The Power of Dark Stories, (and how we are not always what we write.)

Enid Blyton and the Mystery of the Mint. Just why did we decide to scrap plans to put the face of one of the most popular children’s writers on a coin?

On Stories and Cooking – a multicultural perspective.

Reviewing the Situation. A reviewer with a 20-year grudge.

How Mean Became Funny, And Why that Has To Change. How far do you go before art becomes actively harmful?

On Special Snowflakes, the Zombie Plague and Living in the Real World. Why fantasy is great, but real life has its benefits.

On Readers, Card Tricks and What Makes a Bestseller. Why are so many bestsellers terrible? Find out here.

A Writer’s Manifesto. What do readers and writers owe each other?

Why I’m not Cinderella, (and why I hate the word “posh.)

Stereotypes and archetypes: a defence. Why we respond to stereotypes, and what they mean to us.

Imagination and the Age of Reason. Why imagination isn’t just for kids.

On Festivals and Fees. Why authors need to be paid in something more concrete than exposure.

On Content Warnings. Why I’ve changed my mind on the subject of trigger warnings.


On Blackballing and Cancel Culture

The Secret Shed Page

The Shed: imaginary and real work spaces