Money matters – financial inequality in straight relationships

Published in Cosmopolitan on June 1, 2022

Jasmine’s sitting across from David* in the pub. It’s their first date and he’s living up to his Tinder profile – charming, good-looking, and seemingly the perfect mix of ambitious and kind. He paid for dinner, and she was keen to continue the evening in the pub.

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Why real love stories aren’t about fate or destiny

Published in The Independent on May 26, 2022

Have you ever wondered if you would have fallen in love with the same people if you’d lived in a different time? Would you even have met them, in an era with different social mobility – and if you had, would the relationships have worked out?

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What Time is Love is published!

My debut novel is now out in the world… available in hardback, as an eBook and as an audiobook. For links to online retailers, click here, or The LRB Bookshop and Waterstones in Sheffield have some signed copies!

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Review: Reward System, Gem Calder

Published in The Observer on May 2, 2022

These six short stories are almost a novel, interlinked by characters who drift and reconnect with one another in the way friends do, living a big-city, post-university life. And this is Calder’s canvas: young adulthood, and a generation simultaneously bound to one another via social media and yet lost in a disconnected modern world.

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Inês De Castro: The macabre tale of the ‘skeleton queen’

Published in BBC Culture on April 20, 2022

It’s a tale as old as time – two lovers unjustly torn apart. But while the story of King Pedro I and his queen Inês De Castro has shades of Romeo and Juliet in its set up, it ends up somewhere altogether more macabre – imagine if Shakespeare’s tale swerved into horror movie territory in the final act. 

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How to research a novel

‘Write what you know’ is classic advice – for good reason. We all want our work to have a tang of authenticity, and staying within familiar territory can make things more truthful, and certainly a heck of a lot quicker. And as I wrote in my last blog, no matter how well-intentioned, endless research can easily become a procrastination tool.

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What Time is Love? update…

Publication day approaches… and has been brought forward to 26 May 2022. What Time is Love? is available for pre-order now, from your favourite independent bookstore, or this link takes you to a range of online retailers. Final copies are imminent, but we have a cover design!

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How to finish a novel

This first post in a series of blogs about writing was going to be on how to start a novel. But I feel like starting is rarely the problem – whereas finishing often is. Whether you plan a book out or plunge right in, the beginning is always full of shimmery possibility. And then… the reality of the words on the page often disappoints. Hence the urge to polish and polish, re-writing the first chapter or section over and over.

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Review: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Leeds Playhouse

Published in The Independent April 7, 2022

It seems wild that the UK hasn’t been treated to a major, full-scale production of Hedwig and The Angry Inch since its West End iteration closed early in 2000 – especially given the subsequent cult status of the 2001 film version.

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How the first ever pop star blazed a trail of innovation

Published in BBC Culture February 24, 2022

Think of an era-defining, wildly popular pop star: are you picturing David Bowie? Prince? Elton John? Maybe Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga or Adele? The solo singer-songwriter, whose persona is as well-known as their music and lyrics, is a cornerstone of popular music.

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