Let's get acquainted...

I wish I were an interesting enough narrator to start this with a killer first line. That’s an ironic wish if you already know the sort of fiction I write – less so, if this really is the first time we’re meeting. Either way, I’m Charley. I’m an author, poet and academic from the West Midlands, UK; I’m one of two judges for the Flash Fiction 101 writing competition; and I’m a crime writer.

In the coming weeks and months, I’m going to start using this blog as an open writing space. I’ll be talking – read: grumbling – about whatever I’m working on, make no mistake about that. But I’ll also be writing about writing, which includes taking suggestions from you, dear Reader, about things you might like to read about. I wish I had a pot of infinite wisdom from which to scoop helpful anecdotes by the handful. Alas, I’m merely a humble author with a little experience in the writing industry – but I’m very willing to share.

Before we dive into the nitty gritty of the matter, I thought it would be worth introducing myself fully. I’ve already mentioned that I’m a crime writer. My novels in this genre – Intention, Copycat and Play – have all been published with Bloodhound Books, and I have another two novels (the final DI Melanie Watton book in Spring, and a new psychological thriller in early Summer) due in 2021. The crime genre has always interested me, largely, I think, because of its steadfast popularity with reading audiences. That’s a topic we might swing back to in a future post.

Alongside that writing, I also write poetry and the odd bit of flash fiction myself. I was Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2019-2020 and, as part of winning that competition, I’ll be publishing a full poetry collection – titled Lore – with Black Pear Press in 2021. I’ve also published solo pamphlets of poetry and, this year, my first co-authored pamphlet, Hierarchy of Needs: A Retelling, which I wrote with Claire Walker.

My flash fiction tends to be a little more experimental but, again, maybe we can swing back to that in a future post. I don’t want to give everything away in the first chapter (and there’s your first writing tip).

I’m endlessly fascinated by the writing process; how ideas come together, and how some form smoother than others. It’s something I’ll discuss further in the blog series, and I welcome comments from anyone who wants to share their stories of process – and, indeed, progress.

These posts will appear magically on the Tortive Theatre website around once a month, with a fresh topic for each post, too. So now we’re acquainted, you’ll have to wait until October for your first writing feature! Until then, though, you can flex your muscles with the Flash Fiction 101 competition and, if you’re in the market for some writing goodies, why not become a member of the site, too? There’ll be a bonus to it, I promise…

If you’d like to talk writing in the meantime, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and I’m always happy to hear from fellow writers.

Wishing you a creative month until next time –


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