Archive of ‘Uncategorized’ category

Follow Me hits Number 39 in the UK Kindle Chart

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I am freakin’ excited that Follow Me is at number 39 in the UK Kindle Chart. You can grab it for ONLY 99p here.

‘[Clarke] really gets to what modern life is on the internet.’

‘An original idea’

‘Freddie is a magnificently monstrous character’

~ Saturday Review, BBC Radio 4

‘Written in the sharpest style, the story races along, leaving the reader almost as breathless as the heroine – but there is a verve to it that is impossible to resist. A playwright and a screenwriter, Clarke is certainly someone to watch.’

~ The Daily Mail

‘Slick and clever’

~ The Sun 

‘Cunningly plotted but should be gulped down as frothy fun with great zeitgeisty gags’

~ The Sunday Express

‘Set in a London of East End hipsters, Tinder hook-ups, and internships, this tongue-in-cheek tale explores murder in the age of social media’

~ The Sunday Mirror

‘A very contemporary nightmare, delivered with panache’

~  The Independent

‘Clarke has made an appealing flawed female lead who’ll make immediate sense to readers who enjoyed Rachel in The Girl On The Train. An invigorating cat-and-mouse game, with a dark and filthy wit that deliciously spikes the regular drenchings of gore’

~ Crime Scene Magazine

‘A chilling debut’

~ Hello! Magazine

 ‘Follow Me is compelling, a proper page-turner’

~ Emerald Street

‘Gripping, darkly funny and feminist, I loved Follow Me’

~ Caroline Criado-Perez

‘Follow Me is a well written, taut, absolutely fascinating and scarily good crime novel that is too true to life…It will certainly make you look at social media and Twitter in particular with the utmost scepticism and horror. Outstanding! Clearly the start of a wonderful series, superbly written. I definitely want more.’

~ Shots Magazine

 

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Follow Me Blog Tour 3rd – 22nd Dec

| Uncategorized, Writing

Follow Me blog tourI’m really excited to announce that the Follow Me Blog Tour will be running from 3rd – 22nd December! Check out these fabulous bloggers for reviews, interviews, special content, excerpts & competitions:

Thursday 3rd December:  http://www.bookaddictshaun.co.uk

Friday 4th December: http://brookcottagebooks.blogspot.co.uk/

Saturday 5th December: http://fabulousbookfiend.blogspot.co.uk/

Sunday 6th December: https://bookaholicconfessions.wordpress.com/

Monday 7th December: http://rachelsrandomreads.blogspot.co.uk/

Tuesday 8th December: http://www.writing.ie/

Wednesday 9th December: http://handwrittengirl.com/

Thursday 10th December: http://www.reviewedthebook.co.uk/

Friday 11th December: http://lauraslittlebookblog.blogspot.co.uk/

Saturday 12th December: http://boonsbookcase.blogspot.co.uk/

Sunday 13th December: http://celestelovesbooks.blogspot.ie/

Monday 14th December: https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/

Tuesday 15th December: http://off-the-shelfbooks.blogspot.co.uk/

Wednesday 16th December: http://onmybookshelf.blog.pl/

Thursday 17th December: http://myreading-corner.blogspot.co.uk/

Friday 18th December: http://lozzasbookcorner.blogspot.co.uk/

Saturday 19th December: https://portobellobookblog.com/

Sunday 20th December: https://fromfirstpagetolast.wordpress.com/

Monday 21st December: https://ireadnovels.wordpress.com/

Tuesday 22nd December: http://chicklitpad.blogspot.co.uk/

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Cover Reveal: New Crime Thriller Follow Me

| Uncategorized, Writing

Follow Me CoverI’m delighted to share with you guys the exclusive cover reveal for my new crime thriller Follow Me. The first of the Social Media Murder Series Follow Me is out this December, and available for preorder now. AND the Kindle version is currently priced at a bargain 99 pence.

Below is a brief taste of what to expect – I hope you like it!

#FollowMe                                   #AreYouNext?

 

 

 

LIKE. SHARE. FOLLOW . . . DIE

The ‘Hashtag Murderer’ posts chilling cryptic clues online, pointing to their next target. Taunting the police. Enthralling the press. Capturing the public’s imagination.

But this is no virtual threat.

As the number of his followers rises, so does the body count.

Eight years ago two young girls did something unforgivable. Now ambitious police officer Nasreen and investigative journalist Freddie are thrown together again in a desperate struggle to catch this cunning, fame-crazed killer. But can they stay one step ahead of him? And can they escape their own past?

Time’s running out. Everyone is following the #Murderer. But what if he is following you?

ONLINE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM …

 

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On Winning the Young Stationers’ Prize 2015

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Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 16.46.15Last night I was delighted and honoured to be awarded the Young Stationers’ Prize 2015, for accomplishment and promise in writing. And then I got very drunk. Watching my third Berocca dissolve in water today has given me time to reflect on this unexpected joyous moment. Bear with me: I’ll try not to be too much of a twat.

I was surprised and chuffed when Kerry Hudson nominated me for this year’s prize, and grateful to Daisy Buchanan, Diana Beaumont, Hannah Knowles and Shelley Harris for their touching supporting statements and letters of recommendation. I would never have made it this far without them, but not simply because of their lovely endorsements.

Writers have a reputation for being loners, and it’s true I spend a lot of time with just my Mac, but inspiration and creativity don’t come from barren soil. My life is rich with the work and vision of journalists, columnists, authors, editors, filmmakers, directors, playwrights, actors, teachers, mentors, friends, and family. I admire the resonant columns of those like The Evening Standard’s Rosamund Urwin, who was awarded joint runner up of the Young Stationers’ Award. I’m inspired by the innovative work of people like BookMachine’s co-founder, and joint runner up, Laura Summers. I seek to emulate the philanthropic dedication of good souls like Ian Buckley of Prima Software, who was highly commended by the judges. And I’m enlightened by the erudite writing of journalists like Henry Foy, the Financial Times Central Europe Correspondent, who was shortlisted for the prize. Our world is full of stimulus. And as David Aaronovitch from The Times noted in his after dinner speech, technological advances, like Twitter, have opened us up afresh to a broader spectrum of information, knowledge, and interest.

To even be on the same shortlist as the accomplished, driven and brilliant professionals listed above was a thrill. Taking in the Stationers’ Hall, which was completed in 1673, I had to acknowledge the work of all those who have come before. Founded to protect, regulate and promote manuscript writers and illuminators tradesmen in 1403, I was walking in the footsteps of those who sought to make things better. I’m very fortunate to win this prize, but I cannot claim the credit: I’m merely constructed from all those who’ve enriched my life and come before me. This one’s for you guys.

Trophy

Thank you to Paddy Belton, the Master, and all at The Worshipful Company of Stationers for a fantastic evening and a truly treasured prize.

 

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My Debut Play: The Legacy on at The Hope Theatre, Islington 8th-13th June

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The Legacy Cover Photo-2I’m thrilled to announce my debut play The Legacy is on at The Hope Theatre, Islington 8th – 13th June. Tickets available here.

The Legacy

In 2014 Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz became a lightening rod for worldwide anti-rape and women’s right protests, when she carried the mattress she was assaulted on to classes and lectures.

Inspired by those events The Legacy, is a cynically funny play that explores gender, affluence, and shouting back.

‘I read her newspaper bits. In one of them she used the v-word. Vagina. Actually wrote it. Thank god Daddy only read The Telegraph.’

Imagine if you took a politically minded, media savvy, online viral activist, and dropped them into conservative, status driven, vanilla suburbia?

Loving wife and mother Rebecca is thrilled when her estranged sister Esther shows up for the reading of their late father’s will. But free spirited Esther’s very presence soon disrupts Rebecca’s dream suburban life; prompting questions neither sister wants to face. Cracks appear. Tempers fray. And the truth about Esther’s disappearance a decade ago finally surfaces.

The Legacy is an exciting new play about love, money and bleeding heart liberals.

http://www.thehopetheatre.com/productions/the-legacy/

Starring Lucinda Westcar as Rebecca, Jim Mannering as Adam, and Claira Watson Parr as Esther. Directed by Michael Beigel.

See you in the bar! x

 

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What I Review… And What I Won’t Review

| Reviews You Can Read In One Minute, Uncategorized

 

I read a lot of books, see a lot of plays, and watch a lot of films. It’s my job: you can’t write without studying your craft (well you can be you probably won’t get far), and that includes digesting as much material as possible. The creative process is a hard thing to define and explain, but for me a large part of it is to be stimulated: different genres and different mediums all feed back into my ideas and what I’m working on. A newspaper story, a documentary, a superhero film, a literary novel, a four-minute Youtube sitcom: it all goes into the melting pot. For me it’s all about story: and you find that in every form of expression.

All this creative-crudité-crunching means I come across some amazing things I want to share: plays that made me cry, books that made me laugh out loud, and films that chilled me. It also means I come across things I find not so successful. Creativity is subjective, and even if I find flaws in works I understand that getting a book written and published, producing a play, or getting a movie green lit is a big deal. It’s hard to achieve, and it takes a vast amount of work. We’re talking years of sweat and tears and determination and very possibly near-bankruptcy. I also know the finished article an audience receives has had the input of many others: a book will be shaped by an editor, a film re-written numerous times by multiple writing teams, a play tailored by a theatre. The faults you think you can see in a creative piece don’t necessarily originate from the writer.

photo-17So who am I to blog negatively about someone else’s work? We’re all learning, we’re all growing, we’re all hopefully moving forwards. If I don’t like something I don’t review it. I write about the things I enjoyed or loved*. There are already enough hurdles artists have to overcome, there is already enough rejection to endure: they don’t need a silly little blog giving them a bad review.

 

*If you or your publisher have sent me your book and I have not reviewed it, please do not assume it is because I didn’t like it: sometimes life gets in the way and my to-read pile gets out of control. My apologies.

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The Video I wish I’d seen as a teenager

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stalk

I wish I’d seen this when I was a teenager. Then perhaps I wouldn’t have felt so much guilt about the guy who stalked me. Perhaps I wouldn’t have blamed myself for him not taking no as an answer. We may have both come out of the situation less scarred.

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Why New Year’s Resolutions Are Pointless

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 new year

2013 did not go how I expected. In January my first book was published: Confessions of a Fashionista – a humorous memoir of my time in the fashion industry. The first few months of the year were spent in a whirl of promotional activities: writing features and articles, event appearances and a lot of networking. As far as I was concerned I was laying the foundations to my new career as an author. Instead I was laying the foundations for a terrible health scare.

I have EDS III, a degenerative connective tissue disorder which makes bones weak, tissues vulnerable to damage, and leaves sufferers with both sporadic and chronic pain. Pushing myself in my work life cost me dearly. In April 2013 I suffered a massive flare up and was unable to walk for six weeks. This was just the beginning. The damage to my body and my core strength was extensive. By September I could just about manage typing for one hour a day, three days a week. Work became a distant dream as I focused on pacing, and building my strength and my health back up. I started 2014 fragile and nervous, hopeful that I might be able to get back to writing properly.

2014 did not go how I expected. I trained myself so I could write 700 words per day, and then trained myself to stop there: terrified that pushing too hard would cause a flare up again. My resolutions, my aims were small, compact, and achievable: I would write the rough draft of a novel.

And then life changed the rules. In March 2014 I was prescribed new drugs. The effect was amazing. I slept. And my body began to heal. I grew stronger and stronger. It was in May, while I was sorting the un-tackled filing from the previous year, that my mum’s words hit home: ‘You’re like yourself again.’ It was like being given permission to try again, to reach, to hope. I still had to pace, and my condition will always need careful management, but it was no longer a choice between having EDS III and being me. I could be me. I could do what I wanted. I pushed on with my novel.

And then in June a documentary director I’d previously worked with asked if I’d like to write the script for a short fiction film. I said yes. Who knew when I’d get another chance to do something like this? Who knew if I’d be well enough? Eagerly I completed the project and the film, Drift, was shot in July.

In July I was offered the role of sit-in host on Radio Verulam, to cover a presenter’s maternity leave. I might never get another shot at this, I thought. I said yes, and I trained up on how to use the desk, sourced guests, produced and hosted the current affairs show Outspoken. It was challenging, rewarding and a huge buzz. For the first time in months I didn’t spend all day in pyjamas.

In October the opportunity to write a play arose. Timing was tight and I knew I’d have to push myself physically to complete it, but it was too exciting to say no. If I was careful with everything else then my body should hold. So I became a social hermit, and the rehearsed readings for my play The Legacy were staged in late December at the Tristan Bates Theatre in Covent Garden.

It was a glorious end to a year where I’d resolved to write a novel and ended up writing a short film, penning a play, and hosting a radio show. I never set out to achieve these things but when opportunity knocked I said: ‘Disability be damned, hell yeah!’ The way your year unfolds depends less on what you resolve to do in January, and much more on how you respond to what arises throughout it. Sometimes bad things happen and it upsets all your plans. It’s okay: you will get through it. Because sometimes good things happen and upset all your plans too. And that novel I was writing? I finished it in December. Take that, New Year’s resolutions! Wishing you a happy, healthy, and fruitful 2015, whatever you wish for.

 

I had intended to write this at the beginning of January, but a bout of sinusitis has rather amusingly supported my point.

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