About Me

I am a freelance writer and proofreader. I research and write historical fiction. I also write short stories when the mood takes me. Here is where you can find my work.

Published short stories

I offer my services as a freelance proofreader and copy editor, as well as a writer specialising in travel writing and website landing pages. See the Contact Page for how to get in touch.

A series of massive earthquakes under our city jolted us out of the suburban dream to start some soul-searching. Our house was broken, our city centre was flattened and all our friends were moving away. We wanted to find out what was really important to us.

We decided to travel and broaden our minds and those of our children. So my family went to live in France for a year and I blogged about it. Find out about our trials and adventures and get inspired.

I am currently working on my historical fiction novel set in the early 18th century in the south of France. The working title is Port in a Storm.

Here is an excerpt from one of the characters:

Maman had always said I was a melancholy sort of boy . This night I wrestled with sleep even more than normal. Hunger gnawed at my belly. I bit my fingernails to keep my mouth busy and tasted snot and earth. My right foot hurt where I had dropped a branch of firewood on it. When I lay on my back, the bright moon shone in my face. I screwed my eyes tight shut until the black splotches behind my eyelids ran together and exploded in wheeling stars. The smell of wool mingled with the faint tang of piss. The sheep were huddled in a corner and I was as close as I could get, for warmth.

I opened and closed my hands, which were covered in a cold sweat. Pictures ran through my mind of what would happen when the sun came up. I saw myself running for the ship. A few yards from it, my legs seized up and I fell. Then came the shouts and the rough hands. I got up from the muddy ground, swallowing hard, and looked out at the hillside. Tonight, it was a menacing silver world. Silver trees with dark branches reached out with long twiggy fingers. Shining stones hid my enemies in the hills. Even the wild white oleanders seemed unreal. The silence pressed down on me.

Somehow, that night finally ended. I must have slept for I awoke to a stabbing pain in the neck. I was sitting upright near the door. What I was going to do that day returned to me with a rush. I jumped up and stood in the corner for my morning waters. The land outside was now coloured in rich dark purples and browns. It was just before dawn and I needed to get in place before the sun came up. I cupped my hands in the water trough and drank a few mouthfuls, then grabbed my bag containing my precious few things. An indignant baa boomed out of the stillness as I tripped and leaned on the mother sheep. I would miss those sheep.

Pardon mes amis” I whispered and ran out the door.

My uncle used to tell the family stories about stowaways. Their adventures were always fast, exciting and full of great deeds. My trip in the farmer’s cart that day was not fast or exciting. I could hear the driver humming tunelessly. Thunk. Every now and then, the wheel hit a stone, bumping my head into the barrel. I was crouched just behind the wooden divider with my face between the cool oak of a barrel and a skein of wool. I was glad of the warmth against the cool wind. I pressed a bruise on my right shin to keep myself awake. I had to stay alert.

 

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