Dear Readers and Fellow Humans,

Thanks so much for taking a look at my Substack. I use this platform to write books onto. I also send out news and whatnot, but mainly I want to share my work-in-progress autofiction novels, and thoughts about my current writing process and philosophies. You’ll notice some of the posts have letters in front of them like “OWT30” and “OWHB”. These are acronyms of the titles of the first two novels in the autofiction trilogy I’m working on.

OWT30 is “ORDINARY WOMAN TURNS 30”, a mishmash of truth and fiction about growing up as an adult, trying to work out who you are and what you want, and wondering… “what now?” Or maybe, “is this it?” Or, perhaps thinking, “Holy fucking crap, I have nothing of what I’m supposed to have, I’m such a failure of a human being!”

OWHB is “ORDINARY WOMAN HAS BABY”, a somewhat fictionalised account of my journey through trying to conceive, baby loss, and IVF as a solo mum. If you’ve been through any of the above, my heart goes out to you. I hope my writing can chime with you and hopefully be in any way healing. Please feel free to contact me to say hello, although please also note, I’m just a person and I’m still going through grief and won’t be able to support anyone emotionally in more than small (but hopefully still very meaningful) ways.

OWGM is the third title in the trilogy and this is going to be about loving yourself, chosen family, and all types of loving relationships. It’s an acronym for ORDINARY WOMAN GETS MARRIED but our protagonist absolutely will not be getting married in it, I don’t believe in that and haven’t for years.

The three books really follow the pattern of human growth, which is to say, emerging emotional maturity and the self-knowledge and ability to make choices that that brings. So we (meaning all of us, Writer and Readers, because a book always belongs to us all) undermine and poke at and explore societal narratives that we’re handed (eg career success and failure, monogamy, what relationships we privilege, the space friendships take up in the hierarchy of our time, love, energy, an overemphasis on long term or permanent states of being, what makes up a person, rationality v emotion as drivers of decision making etc) and, in the end, after all that… it all comes down to love and what you feel and sticking as close as possible to whatever the truth of those things is for you personally. That is life’s journey, in a nutshell. I’m going to write that up in a post soon.

As the year (2024) moves on, expect me to be noodling around on other book projects too (nothing more I love, save for humans and teddy bears, than writing a book). Other acronyms may well appear, and you can scroll back and check the first post or this about page to see what they stand for and what new idea has piqued my interest.

This Substack is also a newsletter which goes out every week, on a Tuesday at 4 AM, U.K. time (that’s where I live). In addition to Tuesday’s posts, once a month until July I’ll be producing a podcast called, and about, WRITING COERCIVE CONTROL, featuring some of today’s most important writers discussing coercive control in their work.

Lastly for free subscribers, as my trilogy is an attempt to use my own experiences of growth to be helpful to others, I will post useful advice and things I’ve learnt here, ahead of the publication of the books which, if you’re in the industry, you will know, is going to be a year or three away depending on the book. I also feel a bit sheepish that I’m going to stick closely to what I learned at different times in my life—that is to say, the protagonist of the first book is going to come to some helpful and correct conclusions about who she is and some totally unhelpful and badly wrong conclusions. Yikes. Please enquire within if you’re about to take Book One as advice and want to know what really fucked me up and what paths I don’t suggest you walk down.

I also might post more private thoughts on love, sex, grief, how I want to live, and growing up as a grown up out of loss. These posts will almost surely only be available to paid subscribers. I very much thank those of you to whom that applies. I am excited by the thought that my writing is so valued by you and by the fact that sharing my work in this way contributes to me being able to dedicate myself solely to my literary work.

I love all humans and feel very privileged to get to do this work of looking at life and thinking about it and wondering why and maybe offering some thoughts and suggestions. On that note, I wish you all the very best this life can offer; I wish that the challenges you must face to build resilience are not too great; and I wish, most of all, for love in your lives and peace in your hearts. Thank you for reading.

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Newsletter from 2024 Arts Council England-funded novelist & screenwriter with a reverence for truth & a distrust of prevailing cultural narratives. Expect novel extracts, plus thoughts on writing, autofiction, love, loss, sex, grief, growth, & happiness.

People

Novelist & screenwriter, writing on love (self-, platonic, romanto-sexual), baby loss, grief, growth, autofiction. Funded by Arts Council England, 2024, to write my 4th novel. Also, host of Writing Coercive Control pod. Rep: The Book Group, NYC