As soon as I left drama school and landed in the real world, I started writing. My first real endeavour was a novel set in an insane asylum in the middle of a wood in the 1950’s. It was really about the birth of modern psychiatry but it also served as a cathartic experience for my relationship with depression. The depression became manageable but the novel was not; hideously verbose I ended up turning it into a screenplay. After sitting on it like a bilious hen for a few years I finally decided to enter it for some film screenplay competitions. It won one! I've been writing ever since... working backwards, here are some of my scribbles...
I WAS COMMISSIONED TO WRITE A NOVEL! (They shall surely rue the day....)
Death and The Burlesque Maiden
It's true.... Audible Originals commissioned a novel from me. It is also true they have no idea what they have let themselves in for. Well, that's not entirely true. Off the back of my previous novel Nora the Explorer - a dystopian comedy feminist sex book, inspired by my experiences as a burlesque stripper, a woman and a citizen of the Britain in the Brexit Years, which is a satirical near-future look at Isolationist politics, chauvinism, reductive sexual outlooks and butt loads of sex (though no butt sex, sorry) - Audible asked me to write a book. So, I suggested a book written in the same world as Nora, but set ten years on. They liked my pitch and so, Death And The Burlesque Maiden reared its cheeky head. It is a satirical feminist black comedy crime caper, set in The Coochie Hole burlesque club, in an alternate world of steampunk and strippers. The story follows Nora and her performer friends, as they realise they are being targeted by a murderous, faceless foe. After a lack of interest from the police, Nora and the others know they are going to have to solve the crime and kick some booty themselves. The novel is macabre, funny, acerbic and deals with sexism, racism, classism and narratorism (!) as well as trauma, boobs, ballet and farts.
Death and the Burlesque Maiden is out now on Audible Originals!
If you have zero interest, that's fine, just go and eat a biscuit and consider your role in the universe if you have no interest in gobby women.
You can also hear me being interviewed about how I got into burlesque all those years ago, here:
Once the download is complete, unzip the file and drag it into your audio player of choice.
Not from Round Here
WHAT!? Someone wants to make my feminist horror comedy film!?!? Are they CRAZY? (No, they just have vaginas)
Yes, after the screenplay winning an award at the Artemis Women In Action Film Festival in LA, and the script then being picked up by an amazing producer, Rosanne Milliken, who produced my favourite horror comedy film OF ALL TIME (Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil), it then took a sea change in how the world views women's writing and especially women's writing when it is dark and funny and the main characters are problematic and non-compliant, for us to finally find the dream director for this piece of insanity.... all Shtummy McShtumface at the moment... but will keep you posted.... mwoooohahahahahhaaaaaa!
In league with the genius that is comedian Kris Dyer, and other illogically successful audio book narrators, we bring you Unspeakable Audio: bad books, worsley narrated. Amongst the featured hideous ear-horrors you can find two offerings from me: Araminta Posh and the Ugly Friend, and The Bloodsucker Fucker.
Best Feature Screenplay Award at the Reel Women Film Festival Los Angeles 2009
This is that verbose book about the birth of modern psychiatry.... I don't even think it exists any more, but the screenplay does and it won an award and I was proud of it last time I read it about 8 million years ago.
The Regina Monologues
Regina Fluff was a character I birthed in order to host cabaret evenings. Regina is an ex-Children’s Poet Laureate who was struck off for revealing her brassiere live on Radio Four in 1958. She was blacklisted in 87 countries for her (offensive) poetry for children, which she believed would help children grow spinal fluid, but in fact has been proven to disturb them beyond assistance. I compiled the very best of Regina’s poems and illustrations into a book called The Regina Monologues, which can be purchased for print or kindle through Amazon. You can stream the audio version for free through SoundCloud. All the proceeds of The Regina Monologues will go to the Testicular Cancer Charity It’s On The Ball.
Support healthy balls!!!
Here are the links you need to endure Regina’s oeuvre:
And here is a link to my audio comedy pilot of female morticians, death and maggots. Huzzah!
Since writing this, the world has gone insane, bigotry has become acceptable and the funding for 4Women has been revoked. The centre is now closed and all those women are isolated again. So…. yay Britain!
I ran a creative writing class for two and a half years at a women’s centre in Norwich called 4Women, a safe space for women having a tough time. I met amazing people there, with incredible writing talent, often despite the harshest of circumstances. I had to quit my class when I became a mummy but I will never forget the lessons I learned there, both in life and writing. One of my students loved the class so much and had come such a long way that she took over from me and runs it herself, with hopes of one day becoming a teacher. Feels good. Like a chocolate bath.
Words are great.