Author Archive

They Will Come No More, The Old Men With Their Beautiful Manners

Chosen by Ian Rankin for 2nd prize in the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Award 2022 |

There was only time on the farm, where the best of life was lived quietly, where nothing happened but a calm journey through the day, where change was imperceptible and precious life was everything. ‘…beautifully poetic and visual and poignant.’ Ian Rankin


Sheena Cook: Suzzy Roche on letting the note fail

December 6, 2021

Fellow Sheena MJ Cook reflects on our May 2021 BookEnds alumni group author event. Suzzy Roche is a founding member of the singing group The Roches who has recorded over fifteen albums. Her debut novel Wayward Saints (Hyperion/Voice) was a selection of the Spring 2012 B&N Discover Great New Writers Program, and her second novel The Town Crazy (Gibson House Press) […]


What My Mentor Taught Me: On Working with Meg Wolitzer

December 6, 2021

My BookEnds mentor Meg Wolitzer helped me with my manuscript A Tender Hate, which I had only been working on seriously for about a year when I applied. The manuscript was full of holes, and by the time I got to the second half of the BookEnds fellowship and began my work with Meg, my podmates […]


In The Secret Places of the Stairs

December 5, 2021

We can ask and ask but we can’t have again what once seemed ours for ever – the way things looked, that church alone in the fields, a bed on a belfry floor, a remembered voice, a loved face. They’ve gone and you can only wait for the pain to pass. — J. L. Carr: […]


A Tender Hate, a literary mystery set in a Georgian Edinburgh townhouse

December 4, 2021

What if a detective has to investigate the sudden death of her best friend? After a scandal ended her legal career twenty years earlier, Iris Larkin is back in her beloved Edinburgh, this time as a rule-bending detective with unfinished business. Clara, Iris’s best friend from university, is now married to the man who was […]


A Month In The Country

November 18, 2017

You know how it is when a tricky job is going well because you’re doing things the way they should be done, when you’re working in rhythm and feel a reassuring confidence that everything’s unravelling naturally and all will be right in the end. We can ask and ask but we can’t have again what […]


Love Letter to Home

Literary Orphans Special: Scotland and the Scottish | 2017

She pulls me home, though, my country. She pulls me back to stand on the hill where I watched my father cut barley under the midday sun all the way through to the harvest moon.


The Polish Veterinarian

The Southampton Review | Summer 2015

Zofija took a plum from the fruit bowl on the bar and tested her thumbnail against it. How much pressure before the skin gave? —Nope. Have to present myself back at the police station again next week. —What a nightmare having to go and plead with that Pole-hating policeman, Brenda said. The plum skin gave way and Zofija’s fingernails filled with orange-yellow fruit flesh. —Brenda, she said, squeezing until she reached hard stone, you have no idea. Brenda took the plum away and washed Zofija’s hand with a warm cloth.


The Line of Beauty

May 28, 2015

“He took possession of the room, and talked himself out of a tiny sense of disappointment with it.”