I am pleased to showcase a varied selection of my writing – published, unpublished, and works in progress. I never have just one work on the go at any time, as the storylines sometimes take a while to gel. I don’t believe there is any such thing as writer’s block. There’s writer’s jadedness, writer’s apathy, and writer-in-need-of-a-break – and a change is as good as a rest. So when I’m stuck I write something else. I do have novels started that might never be finished, of course. If an idea simply doesn’t work, there’s no point flogging a dead horse. I do love those clichés! And exclamation points. So here are a few pieces for you to read and hopefully enjoy.  If you do, please go to the contacts page, and let me know. 

On Being a Writer

A personal observation on the process of becoming a novelist.

The Selkie Legacy (opening)

This is a working title – I’m still waiting for the real one to make itself known to me.  I thought other writers (and readers) might be interested in seeing the beginning of a project still underway.

Grainne’s husband, Colm, believes he is a Selkie.  His mother was one, after all.  She came from the sea, gave birth to him, and six years later disappeared back into the sea. But when he goes to Suleskerry, his home under the water, he intends to take their baby son with him. Has Grainne truly given birth to a Selkie, or is her mad husband going to drown their son? The concept evolved from a short story written whilst taking the Creative Writing MA at Cork University. Read the opening chapter…

Amergain and Echet the Dirty

This is a short story, a foretaste of a larger work. The Ulster Cycle is a group of stories that might have once been told by bards in the flickering firelight of the Iron Age evenings. Written down in Old Irish by monks from the sixth century onward, in amazing volumes of work that survived the Viking raids, they include the stories of Cuchulain the Hero, Deirdre of the Sorrows, and my favourite character, Fergus, the king who lost this throne through a desire for not one woman, but many…. Read the story…

Swan Song

A short story written specifically for the Hollybough – a yearly magazine produced by the Cork Evening Echo, widely distributed in Ireland and the USA). This story was published in the 2017 edition. A young girl, traumatised by the loss of her mother, goes to spend Christmas at her grandparents’ farm in West Cork – a family gathering she will never forget. Read the story…

Memoir

My sister’s death, in her early thirties, when her car, trapped under a lorry, burst into flames, shook my family to its roots. I can talk about this quite calmly now, though, some thirty years later odd phrases or situations trigger memories that make me tear-up. This is a short piece, 5,000 words, dealing with the aftermath of her death.  Anyone who has tried to write memoir will know how difficult it is to write the facts without descending into maudlin self-pity. I have tried to be honest in all ways, and my mother could only find one small point to disagree with.  The flowers at the funeral had all come from her garden, and she had personally picked them and decorated the church before anyone else arrived. If I had once known that, I had forgotten.  Read the memoir…

Personal Services

A fictional Soap in 12 episodes, published in the Cork Evening Echo.  Anyone who has ever tried to write serialised short fiction will recognise it as a challenge.  This one was to write 12 episodes of 600 words. Each episode had to stand alone, but the whole series required an overall plot and denouement.  Read the series…

Mendip Moon

This is a children’s timeslip story in the tradition of Alan Garner – druids, knights, creatures from another dimension… If you want a free copy of the book, go to the Contacts Page and request it. Read an excerpt…

WYSIWYG

A futuristic story of possibilities. The hero is a hacker, but is he all bad?. Read the story…

Lucky Dog

A short story, set in West Cork – Read the story…

My Smiling Child

A short story. Just how much does this child mean to his mother? – Read the story

Nature’s Sunny Smiles

A short story set in the West Country, England.   At first glance it seems like standard women’s magazine story, however, the main character, although in her twilight years, is not to be trifled with.  She bites back when a new neighbour poisons her dog with weed-killer. There is a subtle undercurrent of black humour. Read the story…