I wrote this piece of flash fiction a few months ago, and at first I wasn’t going to share it. I don’t often talk about religion here, unless it comes up in the context of my characters. There are so many facets of identity, and for me, being Muslim is one of them. Personal faith… Read More No Ordinary Boy
When I was twelve years old, sleepovers were a giddy affair of crumpled clothing, whispered secrets and superhuman effort forcing sleeping bags back into their cases. Then came a run of horror movies and it seemed no adults really had oversight over what we watched. I expect we were very sneaky. In quick succession, we… Read More From Fear to a Love of Clowns
I am sad. There I said it. I don’t like to be the sad one. Not that there’s anything wrong with being sad: we all feel like this sometimes, and some more than others. In fact, I’d argue that if you don’t feel sad sometimes then your skin is probably too thick, and you might… Read More Sadness
I’m nearing the end of the first draft of Hidden Colours, my second novel, scheduled to be released in late autumn. The novel is set in modern day Berlin. My husband is from Berlin and we studied there together, and sometimes we dream about living there again, but that’s a story for another day. I’ve… Read More Personal Histories: A Little Boy and a Can of Coke
A very long time ago, I read Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. I’ve not revisited the novel in years – the last time was seeing the 1995 adaptation featuring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet (and oh, how I still miss Alan Rickman) – but this week memories of it surfaced while I worked on my current novel.… Read More Sentimentalism in Fiction
This post was originally published in Open Thought Vortex magazine, a wonderful place for discovering new writing. Traditions can be the smallest things. The Spanish wearing red underwear at Christmas. A football team supported by generations of a family. Your grandmother’s curry recipe. Strawberries and cream at Wimbledon. Bonfires on Guy Fawkes Night. Carving pumpkins.… Read More How to Make Traditions Work for You
One midsummer’s day, after the seasons had become muddled, I walked in hail to our local park and found a woman huddled underneath an old oak tree. She didn’t have language, but when beckoned she followed me back to my home where I fed her hot soup and told her I would provide for her… Read More My Woman – A Very Short Story for International Women’s Day
Sometimes I come to a blank page because I have something to say; at other times, I come here because my mind needs excavating before I can move forward. Today is one of those days. Writing fiction is a strange beast. Readers have an idea of what it might be like: writers working on their… Read More On Ambition, Doubt and Creativity
I’ve been meaning to blog for weeks, and before I knew it, over a month had passed. Blogging is like meditation for me. Like Julia Cameron’s morning pages, or journaling, or yoga. It leaves my head clearer, my spirit lighter, and I’m happier when I’m regular in my practice. If only the clock would stop,… Read More BookBub Results and Hidden Colours Excerpt
There is something seductive about crossing the threshold into a new year. It’s the same feeling as opening a new journal, or writing on crisp letter paper, or sliding under clean bedsheets. A fresh start holds promise. It’s like a new relationship: full of romance and possibility. Humans like symbolism. And yet, I am different.… Read More On Flow and Just Being
The baby is a year old, and though he is not sleeping through the night, I’m finally starting to feel like my own person again. This littlest one of ours has had the most demanding baby year, or perhaps it has been harder for us all because he has had to slot into the needs… Read More Literary Loves: The Power by Naomi Alderman
On days like this I paint a smile on my face that doesn’t reach my eyes but you wouldn’t know I stitch myself together – Frankenstein, a wind-up doll – though I’d rather be under the duvet curled like a foetus The howling wind and rotting leaves a reflection of my mind where monsters dance… Read More Freefall
This post was originally published on Daryl Rothman’s blog. Daryl is one of those generous people on Twitter, who very soon became a friend. His own fantasy novel for young adults,The Awakening of David Rose, is available here. I really enjoyed this interview. Sometimes you need the right question to make you stumble into new… Read More On Inspiration, Surprises and the Gifts of Writing A Novel: An Interview on Daryl Rothman’s Blog
How can it be here already?! But it is, it is! It’s the launch day for my debut novel, All the Tomorrows. A huge thanks to Lane Diamond at Evolved Publishing for believing in the book, to my magnificent editor Jessica West, and D. Robert Pease for his cover art. I am so excited and… Read More All the Tomorrows – LAUNCH DAY AND BOOK READING!
This post appeared first on my publisher’s website. Look out for my favourite lines from the novel this weekend. I’ll be posting them on my Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram. Just message/tweet me a page number from 1-289 and I’ll respond with a tiny snippet. Committing to a story idea is a funny thing, at… Read More How I Researched All the Tomorrows
This post appeared first on Rambling Lisa’s Book Reviews. A huge thanks to Lisa for hosting me. Visit her website for a giveaway and scroll down after the article for an exclusive excerpt of All the Tomorrows, which launches in two weeks! All the Tomorrows is written mostly from the perspective of newlyweds Jaya and… Read More My Love for the Other Woman
I’ll tell you how I’m feeling today, if you tell me too. Not for us, the false niceties papering over our humanness. Not for us, the filters to smooth out our skin on social media, to give the grey pallor of our faces a sunlight hue. I’m tired and overwhelmed, and I know it will… Read More Are You Feeling Overwhelmed?
The baby didn’t sleep last night. His need for me is wearing. I stand in the hallway, exhausted, listening to him whimper in his cot after I place him there. I cup my hands in prayer. The shape they make is at first alien, a relic from childhood rituals when our family attended the mosque… Read More On Being Human
I’ve not been here for a while. The juggling of balls has been hard this summer, and there has not been enough pieces of me to share around. The baby is eight months now, and I’ve been ready for months to smooth out a white page, to fill it with words until every corner is… Read More A Love Letter to Openness and the Creatives in my Life
It’s cover reveal day for All the Tomorrows! Huge thanks to Evolved Publishing and cover artist extraordinaire D. Robert Pease, who took my jumbled vision for the cover and translated it into art that gives a sense of place, mood and genre. I hope you like it as much as I do. It’s hard to… Read More All the Tomorrows – Cover Reveal Day!