Writings and Witterings


My Next Big Thing

A big ‘Thank You’ to both Daniel Grubb of Fantastic Books Publishing and to Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn for tagging me in the My Next Big Thing meme. If you don’t know what this is, it’s an opportunity to tell the world about your current writing project. When you’ve finished answering the ten questions below you get to tag other people, who do the same, thus spreading writerly joy all over the place.

Let me tell you something about these two amazingly talented people. Daniel, and his wife Gabi, nominated two of my short stories for their recent publication Fusion, it was great to see their professionalism in editing the stories and to see my work appear with other excellent short stories. Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn is the author of Unravelling and her second novel The Piano Player’s Son will be out next year. I met Lindsay at Parole Parlate, a monthly spoken word event in Worcester organised by The Worcestershire Literary Festival.

So, Polly, what’s your Next Big Thing?

Like many writers, I’ve got a number of different things on the go. I’ve just published my first poetry collection Girl’s Got Rhythm available from Black Pear Press and on Kindle. I’ve recently published A Flash of Fiction on behalf of The Worcestershire Literary Festival – a selection of the flash fiction stories from Worcestershire’s first-ever flash fiction competition. The anthology will be launched on Sunday 9th December in Worcester. I have completed a Flash Fiction course with ‘King of Flash Fiction’ Calum Kerr and am studying a short story writing course with Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn (she is a superb writing teacher but don’t say I said so, head / doorway etc!)  I’m also on the A215 Creative Writing course with The Open University. So much to learn, so little time!

However, for this post, there’s one burning issue – the novel I’m writing.

1) What is the working title of your book?

The working title of the book is The Citadel. There are already books with that title, so I must find something different (suggestions welcomed!)

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

The book was started a while ago – then life got in the way. I picked it up again and reviewed the story this year. I have a leaning towards sci-fi / fantasy and other ‘dark’ genres. Josh’s story was born from this interest.

3) What genre does your book fall under?


4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Josh ~ Dakota Goyo

Candlehop ~ elf ~ Josh Feldman

King Zorn ~ Bernard Hill

Felina ~ Uma Thurman

Skitt ~ goblin chief ~ Rowan Atkinson

Quassier ~ Keith Allen

Shadowblade ~ Johnny Depp

Aunt Sandy ~ Alex Kingston

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Josh is on a quest to return an egg to Invista before the goblins ruin the world.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

An agency would be good – it will be published – I self-published my first poetry collection Girl’s Got Rhythm and then it was picked up and republished by Black Pear Press.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Several years. Still working on it!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

His Dark Materials – Chronicles of Narnia – Lord of the Rings – Treasure Island

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

This story was inspired from the pleasure of inventing an ‘other’ world – and seeing the ways in which the main character grows

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The story. The approach to tracking Josh’s adventures in another land and the experiences he shares along the way

It’s tag time:

I think, since two lovely people tagged me, that I can tag five – oops, seven – of my writing / performing chums to pick up the baton. I am blessed to know so many wonderfully talented people, so those who are not mentioned here, just know I thought of you too, but time / space precludes me mentioning everyone (bugger!) Do check out the work of the following: Gary Longden, who writes brilliant reviews and the best poetry. Carrie Rubin who had her debut novel The Seneca Scourge published this year. Holly Magill, who accompanied me on a five day Arvon ‘Form in Poetry’ workshop – dying to know what your ‘next big thing’ is, my friend. Catherine Crosswell, one of the most talented writers and performers I have the pleasure to know, her work with Four Tart Harmony needs to be seen! This year’s Worcestershire Poet Laureate, Maggie Doyle, who has entertained us exceedingly well with her fabulous poetry. Calum Kerr, the ‘King of Flash Fiction.’ I had the pleasure of working with Calum at the Flash Fiction Competition and on one of his online courses, and Andrew Owens, writer and fab MC of 42

Over to you, my friends – have fun!



Fusion—The Anthology From Fantastic Books Publishing

I entered the Fantastic Books 2012 short story competition and am delighted two of my stories not only made it to the shortlist (final ten) but are also included in this anthology —published on Kindle and very reasonably priced—an excellent Christmas gift—or just treat yourself! Click on the image below for more details.

The collection Fusion is compiled from the winners of the Fantastic Books Publishing International Charity Short Story Competition 2012 and features 2 stories from professional contributors Danuta Reah and Stuart Aken.

10% of the proceeds from the book will be donated to the WCRF (World Cancer Research Fund)—I like that very much.