Incident on the Line

Remembering how my novels began their life is always a problem. With Incident on the Line I wrote a paragraph, without knowing where it was going, likening life to a concertina, each event as the pleat of the bellows. Those particular events that are marked in your memory. At the same time I wanted to explore opening […]

Ladybird, Ladybird

Where did this come from? Did I see a couple, man and wife, sitting upright side by side, stiff Lego models in their camper van? I don’t remember, though the image, real or imagined, is where it started. Who were they and are they both happy? I thought not. What I do recall is sitting on the […]

The Angel Child Cover

The Angel Child

This began with a newspaper cutting given to me by one of my writing friends, Henrietta Branford. It was the true story of a woman who had lived outside in her garden for years, shielded by umbrellas. It seemed that she died of old age rather than hyperthermia; no one knew why she had take […]

A Retrospective - Novel by Valerie Bird

A Retrospective

‘I wasn’t the first man to put a pillow over a woman’s face, even with love. … “I don’t want to live anymore, let me go!” That’s what I’d heard her say, my mother. When it was all over, I stood beneath the cherry tree, the blossom growing whiter as I watched, more glorious than […]

The Eye Of God Cover

The Eye of God

‘Fate is an artful dodger. Whatever you believe of gods and destiny and all that crap, fate steps out to slip signals, pull points, shift tracks to take you on a route so bizarre, it makes you stare at the stars and scuff your feet.’ Was she to blame? Jack needed help, but then so […]

National Poetry Anthology

‘I Know’ – published ISBN 1-84436-336-8 Entered and chosen for this anthology. A lament for the impossibility of writing about love? I know the inside out of walking on dry earth and stones millennia back to where lava ran and rock split into a gorge of water falling to the ritual pattern of bricks red […]

Staple New Writing

‘The Crab Apple Tree’ published Spring 1998 ‘Annie knew about souls, always had done from the first day at Sunday School. The souls of the dead were all around you. Your own was a sort of flat thing, wafer thin, lying along your spine, invisible inside you, under the skin and muscle. You could sometimes […]

Picture Poems

Picture Poems by Michael and Peter Benton

‘Captive Flesh’ for William Hogarth’s ‘The Graham Children’ and ‘The Three Musicians’ for Pablo Picasso’s ‘The Three Musicians’ – commissioned – published by Hodder & Stoughton ISBN 0-340679875 Even better! These were commissioned poems. I was invited, along with famous poets such as U.A Fanthorpe, Gillian Clarke, Charles Causeley, to respond to a range of […]