I was delighted when Ethel Rohan, March's guest editor over at Necessary Fiction, asked me to submit a story for the Irish-themed issue. I spend a lot of time in Ireland, my father and stepmother live there, and some of my most amazing writing-related moments have been at Anam Cara, the heavenly writing retreat in West Cork. The story that is now published, Graveside, represents a first for me: it is the first time I have had a story published with a character who has appeared in a previous story - Mary Margaret of Drinking Vodka in the Afternoon, which I was commissioned to write for Radio 4 for a week of stories in 2007 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Sputnik satellite. And she wouldn't leave me alone, she kept clamouring for more about her. In Drinking Vodka... she is 16, in a small Irish village. This new story takes place many many years later. I don't think you need to have read the first story... I hope not. Anway, it's here. Thank you Ethel!
Also, I was stunned to find my book on this Booktrust list of 10 British short stories, in the glorious company of writing mates Vanessa Gebbie and Adam Marek, and the wondrous AL Kennedy. That's made my month, if not my year!