Nicholas Royle on sex in fiction

Nicholas Royle explains in The Conversation why a good novel will always be about sex—though in ways that may not be obvious—and how, when writing An English Guide to Birdwatching, he was conscious of ‘the phantom eyes of the Bad Sex award judges’ peering over his shoulder.


Cynthia Enloe on Complicity

I grew up a Yankees fan. My mother, who couldn’t tell a home run from a quarterback sneak, gamely took 10-year-old me and my pals to Yankee Stadium. Now I’m a Red Sox fan. I still love major league baseball. Today, though, I’m far more conscious of the insinuation of militarized patriotism into the game and, more discomforting, the likelihood that as a fan, I am complicit in that risky process.

In July I was among the 36,000 fans soaking up Fenway Park’s special beauty on a glorious afternoon. The stands were full, the grass green, and the bases white. Red Sox fans are a boisterously friendly lot, so I felt I had to stand up with everyone else when a teenage girl sang the national anthem. I cringed when a mammoth stars and stripes was unfurled in the outfield down the beloved Green Monster wall. I kept my cringes to myself.

Around the 6th inning, during a lull in the action, the Fenway announcer drew our attention to the Jumbotron where we saw a giant version of a middle-aged white man who, in human proportions, was with us in the stands. He was identified as a veteran of recent US wars. A wave of grateful applause erupted as we were invited to give him a hero’s welcome. I sat stingily on my hands, still saying nothing.

I love singing at Fenway. Joining thousands of other ‘Take Me out to the Ball Game’ and Boston’s own ‘Sweet Caroline’ is to experience sheer joy. But when at the bottom of the 8th came ‘America the Beautiful’ and everyone around me stood, I sat quietly. My friends smiled down at me sympathetically.

Patriotism, especially militarized, masculinity-heroicizing patriotism, is escalating at American sporting events. It may be most prominent at NFL games and NASCAR races, but it is in full bloom at most major league baseball games—not just the national anthem, but also the ubiquitous lauding of military personnel, and additional patriotic songs in the middle of the game.

Complicity. I have become more interested in complicity, and aware of its subtleties, but I’m not sure how to research it. Feminists in other countries might be our tutors. Japanese feminists today track the singing of their nation’s anthem and displays of the national flag. Bosnian feminists chart ethnicized patriotic symbols as they dominate masculinized soccer games in all parts of the now-rival states of the former Yugoslavia.

I think we need to explore how exactly ordinary women and men—and girls and boys—get personally drawn into militarized masculinized patriotism. To do that, we need to investigate the gendered responses of individuals to both pressures and the allures. I suspect that complicity in militarized masculinized patriotism is camouflaged as mere entertainment or sentimentalism, as well as collective appreciation and gratitude. Gratitude is so often feminized. It becomes an extension of dependency. Women, therefore, are popularly expected to be grateful to men and to the masculinized state for offering them militarized protection. In a militarized society, a woman who refuses to express that gratitude (staying seated when the male veteran is being cheered) risks being deemed unfeminine.

Appreciation can be either masculinized or feminized. In its militarized masculinized form, appreciation is imagined by many men to be an expression of their own special understanding of what it takes to be a manly soldier. By contrast, when feminized, that militarized appreciation is an expression of recognizing that an ordinary woman would be unable to perform these soldiering feats.

Sentimentality, entertainment, appreciation and gratitude—each are routinely gendered. To the extent that all four can be mobilized to serve masculinized militarized patriotism, patriarchy will be perpetuated. It will take researchers and analysts with patience, imagination, stamina and feminist curiosity to understand the myriad deep social processes being entrenched today at a baseball game on a sunny summertime afternoon.

Why did I sit during ‘God Bless America’, but say nothing?


Cynthia Enloe’s new book is The Big Push: Exposing and Challenging the Persistence of Patriarchy.

Herald Scotland

‘Unlike any other graphic novel we can think of, although Brookes has previous in that regard.’  Teddy Jamieson quizzes Gareth Brookes on method and macular degeneration.

Swans, green spaces and bands

Paula Knight talks to Joe Melia of B24/7 about the influence of Bristol on her creative life:

‘I’ve lived here since 1988 when I arrived from the north-east to study Graphic Design/ Illustration at Bristol Poly (now UWE). At college, the importance of keeping a sketchbook to hand was engraved on my consciousness for life, and I rarely go anywhere without one now for fear of losing ideas.’

‘We got it right. We’ve been good brothers’

Tom Connolly remembers his late brother, Pip, for the Guardian:

‘Something about the prospect of turning 50 in March this year had been niggling me for some time, despite the fact that I’ve never taken much notice of birthdays… I began to realise it was sadness at the fact that soon after my 50th birthday I would become older than my big brother; my beloved, late, big brother. And that felt like an abomination.’

Photos of NYC and a lead review in Tripfiction

‘There are just wonderful turns of phrase that capture the feel of the city and the nuances of everyday life, at which Tom Connolly excels. You can tell that he is not only an author, but also a film maker, his prose has a very visual quality to it.’

Tripfiction reviews Men Like Air and talks to Tom Connolly as he shares some of his photographs of New York City.

Food for Bookworms

‘I think I have always loved a book that makes me laugh out loud and yet feel deep, complex emotion ever since reading A Prayer for Owen Meany, and I had a desire to write something funny and poignant about people who are stimulated by the city they live in, moulded by it, but also left emotionally isolated by it, as that’s my experience of New York City.’

Tom shares insights about Men Like Air and New York City with Natalie from Food for Bookworms.

Bookish Ramblings

‘The appeal of writing fiction is discovering the individuality of one’s fictional characters, and for me Leo’s loneliness is not so much age- or gender-related so much as to do with a certain sort of urban solitude, and in particular the way that New York City can leave you feeling like you’re on the outside edge of the greatest party ever thrown.’

Tom talks about writing Men Like Air to Bookish Ramblings.

The Owl on the Bookshelf

‘Finn arrives in NYC with an older, wiser, more travelled girlfriend who has a list of fabulous places she intends to see and wonderful things she intends to do. Finn, on the other hand, has come to do one thing, beat the crap out of his older brother for abandoning him.’

Tom introduces the characters of Men Like Air and describes some of his (and their) favourite New York films for The Owl on the Bookshelf.


Tom Connolly’s guest blog for David’s Book World

‘My nineteen-year-old character, Finn, shares with thousands the experience of landing in New York City and feeling that anything is going to be possible in your life… all the characters in Men Like Air are at different stages of a love affair with the place… they are all transformed by New York City, for better or worse, in the lifetime of the book.’

Tom talks to David Hebblethwaite about his inspiration for setting Men Like Air in New York and shares some of his photos of the city in this guest blog for David’s Book World.

The Mighty – interview

“ ‘I felt there was nothing out there that really described my own experience,” Beaumont said. “I think I’ve written the book I would have liked to read when Beth was little — something that described the difficulty I had loving Beth, without making me feel guilty.’ ”

Read an interview with Henny Beaumont here on The Mighty, a website dedicated to breaking the isolation around disability, disease and mental illness.

Make It Then Tell Everybody

Nicola Streeten and Dan Berry talk about memoir and autobiography, the necessity of community and opening doors into the world of comics. Listen here or download the podcast.

Precarious Migration

Read Nicola Streeten’s comic Precarious Migration relating the experiences of Cambodian migrants produced for Migrating Out of Poverty Research at the University of Sussex for DFID and launched at WOMAD 2016.

My Life in Books

Roald Dahl, Spike Milligan, Stephen King, Tobias Wolff – do read this fascinating account of Isabelle Ashdown’s favourite books at different times in her life, as told to Anne Cater for her blog Random Things Through My Letterbox.

Mumsnet – guest post

‘My daughter made me face my own prejudices towards disability’: Henny Beaumont thought she was expressing the unspeakable when she wrote about how she coped with her daughter’s Down’s syndrome diagnosis. Read more here.

Director’s commentary – Forbidden Planet

Jade Sarson, hosted by Joe Gordon, takes us on an exhilarating ride through the creative processes used in the making of  For the Love of God, Marie! With lots of thumbnails, roughs and tips from a born professional… Click here to read the full post.

Mail on Sunday – YOU magazine

‘The child with Down’s is as much of a child as any other’. Read here for a full-length interview with Henny Beaumont by Joanna Moorhead in the Mail on Sunday on 12 June 2016.

‘Comics artist Will Volley may have the perfect pitch for his new graphic novel – selling door-to-door.’ Read this interview with Will Volley by Ellie Broughton in the East End Review.

Skepticality speaking: podcast with Darryl Cunningham

An illuminating discussion with Darryl Cunningham about his work in fact-based comics, and how, as a health care assistant, he decided to embrace his role as a cartoonist and take on the job of educating the public about misconceptions surrounding psychiatry, science, and even world financial affairs. Includes a preview of his forthcoming book, Graphic Science. Skepticality is the official radio show and podcast of Skeptic Magazine and the Skeptics Society.
Links to the podcast here. Darryl’s interview is about 17 minutes in.

Guest blog post for Foyles

‘IAlgrenandBeauvoir2‘ve never been particularly interested in reading fiction based on the lives and activities of real people, and I definitely never intended to write a novel about real people… But eventually I ended up writing a novel based on the real-life 18-year relationship between Simone de Beauvoir and Nelson Algren [pictured]…’

Douglas Cowie’s guest post for the Foyles blog: ‘The Corners of Attachment – Imagining the spaces between the facts’.

Ian Williams’s article for the Independent

‘I remember, at medical school, drunken discussions concerning the small number of class “nutters” in our year of 150 students… I kept quiet, but laughed along with the others. I was convinced that I, too, was doomed to a future as a “nutter”, having developed some kind of “madness” that I was struggling to hide.’

Read more of Ian’s article for the Independent in which he discusses his experience of OCD and how this has informed his work.

New signings for the graphics list

We’re proud to announce six new titles for the graphics list, coming in 2017 and 2018. These diverse and exciting new titles come from a range of both established and new voices to expand our thought-provoking and colourful graphics list, as well as spearheading Myriad’s position at the forefront of Graphic Medicine publishing in the UK.

Continue reading

Feature for Bookanista

‘In some ways all the characters I’ve ever written about are fighters: I never really know who they are, or how to write about them, until I test what they will and won’t do; pushing them into a story and seeing how they battle their way out.’

Read about Emily’s journey to becoming a writer in her essay, ‘Double English‘, for Bookanista, where you can also find an exclusive extract of The Longest Fight.

‘Prose that pack a punch’: essay for Thresholds

‘Toole is an honest writer, ruthlessly constructing and breaking down the psychology, as well as the physicality, of his characters.’

In her essay, ‘Prose that packs a punch’, for international short story forum Thresholds, Emily reflects on the short-story collection that strongly inspired her love of boxing literature: Rope Burns by F.X. Toole.

FXToole_Rope Burns



Interview with Ink Pantry

‘Historical research was important in trying to piece together the vanished landscape of bombed out London.’

Read an author interview with Emily Bullock over on Ink Pantry, where she discusses the inspiration behind The Longest Fight, how she became a boxing fan, and what’s next for her writing career.

Feature for We Love This Book

‘When writing The Longest Fight I also wanted to know what other writers had to say about the sport. What I discovered was a whole sub-genre, fighting fiction…’

Find out which works of literary fiction, featuring fight scenes, Emily selected for We Love This Book‘s regular feature…

Interview with the Herald

‘I always loved drawing from a young age… Nothing gives me more pleasure than gazing at a well drawn/constructed comic-book page. Drawings can both convey and evoke strong emotions, more so than photographs, I find, so add to that the fact that the drawings interact with words to tell a story, and you have a unique art form, a visual poetry.’

Will Volley talks graphic novels, door-to-door selling and Daredevil in this interview with Teddy Jamieson at the Herald.

Director’s Commentary for Forbidden Planet

‘Writing and drawing a graphic novel is a perfect vehicle for self-expression. I wanted to put my heart and soul in to the book, channelling my own feelings and frustrations through the protagonist…’

Read Will’s Director’s Commentary on his debut graphic novel, The Opportunity, for Forbidden Planet International.

A Brief History of the USA in Bowling for Columbine

Aneurin Wright’s cartoon for Michael Moore’s Bowling For Columbine was described as ‘worth the price of admission’ by Variety magazine, ‘a joyously funny cartoon sequence’ by The Hollywood Reporter and by Oprah as her favourite part of the film. FlickerLab’s Creative Director, Harold Moss, directed and voiced all the characters.

Extracts on motherhood feature in Studies in Comics

‘Harry was born 23 December 2013. Beautiful, loud, hungry. Clock of my day. Emperor of my household. At a conference on motherhood in London in June 2015 I heard Bracha Ettinger speak about ‘the three shocks of maternality’. It helped me to understand how much I am still recovering from my new reality…’

Extracts from The Book of Sarah feature in Studies in Comics (Vol 6, Issue 2), which also includes a report on contemporary comics by Jewish women co-authored by Sarah, Heike Bauer and Andrea Greenbaum.

One girl’s life in the Ripper years: article in BBC News magazine

‘There have been at least 19 books written about Sutcliffe, but, apart from one by a French feminist academic and Becoming Unbecoming, all are written by men… But the murders, and the police and press response, drove young women like me to feminism. Others were driven into fear. Una wanted to give those women, and all women and girls terrorised by sex crimes, a voice.’

Read journalist and activist Julie Bindel’s feature on Una and Becoming Unbecoming, for BBC News magazine.

Overcoming adversity, becoming brilliant: Una interview with The F-Word

‘As a big fan of graphic novels, I was excited to learn of a new release by a Yorkshire woman with the pen name Una. Being of northern origin, I’m always interested in hearing the voices of woman – and men – from the north of the country, particularly as their voices often go unheard or overlooked in comparison to those from the south and, more specifically, the south-east. I’m delighted to report that the novel Becoming Unbecoming is an absolute sensation: one of my favourite books of the year and, possibly, the best graphic novel I’ve ever read.’

Read Una’s interview with Joanna Whitehead of The F-Word.

Elle’s Ultimate Feminist Reading List

‘An incredibly powerful new graphic novel… The illustrations are beautiful and the words are a powerful demand listen to women’s voices.’

Becoming Unbecoming sits alongside feminist classics such as The Colour Purple by Alice Walker and Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, in Anna James’ Ultimate Feminist Reading List, as featured on Elle UK. See the full selection here.

Q & A with Big Issue North

Why do cultural forms so often dramatise the rape and murder of women and rarely men?  Why should the notion of survivor be treated with caution? Will writing this book – or conveying your ideas to broad audiences more generally – ever compensate for a lack of justice?

Look at Una’s answers to these probing questions and read her thoughts about the nature of her work, in an honest and intriguing interview with Big Issue North.

Top Five feature for We Love This Book

‘It’s a mistake to think of comics as just a quick read on the bus, or a specific, formulaic type of aesthetic. As with all artistic realms there are an infinite variety of artists and writers working in the medium.’

Una makes a guest appearance on We Love This Book’s regular Top Five feature slot, selecting her ‘Top Five: Graphic Novels with Ambitious and Experimental Tendencies’. Full feature here. 

Featured book on Emerald Street

RR_280915_MOB‘Becoming Unbecoming shows what patriarchal violence does, on a nationwide and on a personal level…. But this graphic novel also shows what happen when women refuse to be silent. Read this. Get angry. Start shouting.’

This powerful call to arms appeared in Emerald Street – Stylist magazine’s online counterpart. Selected for the Reading Room feature, Becoming Unbecoming is described as ‘honest, matter of fact and absolutely gut wrenching’.

Interview with Mash Stories

‘It seems to me that our real task in life as human beings is to achieve not outward success but inward self-knowledge, which involves becoming conscious of the things that drive us.’

Umi Sinha is interviewed by Jen Harvey for Mash Stories.

Interview with TripFiction

‘Everything is so extreme, the heat, the sun, the wild animals and the ever-present smell of death…’

Umi Sinha is interviewed about the background to her debut novel by TripFiction.

Writing tips on Bookanista

‘What I have learnt, over the many years I have struggled with writing, is that fear of one’s own inadequacy is the biggest block. There is always a way through.’

Umi Sinha shares her top tips for writing a novel with Bookanista.

Interview with Story Scavenger

‘I had been trying to get a big enough idea for a novel for a long time and one night I simply asked my unconscious mind for one before I went to sleep. I woke the next morning with a whole scene playing in my head, and I knew at once it was the opening of a novel…’

Umi Sinha is interviewed about her writing routine by Wendy Ann Greenhaigh for Story Scavenger.


Article for Bookanista: ‘The big W’

‘My workshop group was made up of talented writers and astute critics. They stood for no nonsense. The workshops themselves were gruelling, but prepared you like nothing else for the rigour of a professional edit. They taught me when to murder my darlings, and when to stand my ground.’

In ‘The big W’ for Bookanista, S.E. Craythorne discusses the merits of different kinds of creative writing groups; from council run community groups to her MA workshop group.

Interview with Sussex Life: a perfect Sussex weekend

Having grown up on the south coast, Isabel now lives in Chichester, and says that Sussex is ‘a constant source of inspiration. All my novels have a coastal location, largely inspired by the beauty and range of our south coast beaches – I grew up in East Wittering, so I guess it’s in my blood!’

Read about Isabel’s perfect Sussex weekend on the Sussex Life site.


‘Top Five: Women on the Run’ for We Love This Book

‘In my latest novel Flight, a happily married young mother wins the lottery – and runs away. Wren simply disappears, giving up her old connected life in favour of a new solitary one on the coast of North Cornwall. What she seeks, ultimately, is peace; peace, freedom, quiet, space to be alone… Haven’t we all felt this desire at some time or other?’

Isabel Ashdown selects her ‘Top Five: Women on the Run’ in fiction in a feature for We Love This Book.

Excerpt from Hush on Writers’ Hub

‘Lily’s lectures were always crowded. Richard wasn’t sure whether she noticed him, sitting at the back of the room, shadowed by a sea of eager undergraduates. He hadn’t told her that he sometimes came to watch her, performing small miracles of revelation which might impact on ten people in the audience, or a hundred, or even, by osmosis, the whole world.’

Read an exclusive extract from Hush on the Writers’ Hub website.



Article for Shiny New Books

‘There is something very powerful about looking at an image where the subjects are looking straight out at you, almost as if they are trying to communicate something without being able to tell you what it is.’

Sara Marshall-Ball writes for Shiny New Books describing how her novel began here.

Article for Faber Academy: ‘Why I Write’

‘It’s often said that writing is a form of escapism, and in some ways I don’t doubt that’s true — except that the only thing I’ve ever tried to escape is boredom. I write to escape to places, rather than escape from them…’

Sara Marshall-Ball explores the compulsion behind her writing on the Faber Academy blog.

Article for Bookanista: ‘On Brevity’

1. Leave out as much as you can.
2. Simple words, in the right order, will surprise you with their power.
3. Don’t describe everything. We all know what stuff looks like. A forest is a forest; a table is a table – shut the hell up and get on with it.

Just a few of Benjamin Johncock’s top tips for drafting a novel, over on Bookanista. For more great advice on brevity in writing read the full article here.

Article for Writers & Artists

‘Everyone is different. What works for one writer might not work for another. The trick is to cherry-pick the advice, the techniques, the stuff that works for you. Put it in a bag that you keep under your desk.’

Benjamin Johncock discusses his writing process in this new article for Writers & Artists.

Article for The Conversation

‘There are pros and cons of writing under pressure. Every writer is different, and this applies to speed of production as much as it does to style.’

The tortoise and the hare: in an article for The Conversation, Sally O’Reilly discusses the perks and perils of writing a 50,000 word novel in a month, versus writers who draw their novels out over months, years and even decades.


Article for The Conversation

‘History is not a finite resource. It is looming behind us: growing and morphing and consuming the space age and glasnost and Blairism; Britpop and 9/11 and the Arab Spring.’

Sally discusses the impact of bestselling author Ali Smith winning the Baileys Prize, and the rise of historical fiction, in an article for The Conversation.

Guest post for the Waterstones blog

‘A battle of wills and a clash of egos. It is a love story, but also dramatises the conflict between men and women, and about the desire to create beauty and meaning in the midst of chaos and pain.’

In this post for the Waterstones blog, Sally explores the mystery surrounding the identity of Shakespeare’s Dark Lady, who she re-imagines in her novel Dark Aemilia as Aemilia Bassano Lanyer.

The Guardian Top Ten

‘If you want to write a story about a fundamental predicament, there is a Shakespeare play to fit the bill. So it’s not surprising that he has inspired so many writers, from Herman Melville to Angela Carter.’

Read Sally’s Top 10 novels inspired by Shakespeare for the Guardian.




Article for Writers’ Hub

‘Lose yourself. One of the unsung joys of writing a book is that you can create your own world and go there every day. There’s nothing like it. Forget about the bestseller list, this year’s Booker winner and all the rest of it. Invent your world, and follow the logic of your own imagination, and you will have one of the most rewarding experiences that life can offer.’

Sally O’Reilly presents her Top Tips for the First Time Novelist in an article for Writers’ Hub.

Celebrating the Launch of Dark Aemilia

Last week saw the launch of the paperback edition of Sally O’Reilly‘s historical novel, Dark Aemilia, with a special event at famous London bookshop Hatchards. Before signing copies of the novel, Sally took part in a Q&A with Myriad’s Marketing Manager, Eleanor Crawforth, discussing the story behind Dark Aemilia – a bold re-imagining of the life of poet Aemilia Lanyer and her relationship with Shakespeare. The Brighton launch took place on Thursday (30 April) at Waterstones. Dark Aemilia has already gathered fantastic reviews including in The New York Times (‘tantalising’) and Washington Post (‘wildly romantic’). Read a new essay by Sally for Bookanista, ‘The Mindful Writer’, in which she celebrates the benefits of creative writing as a life-enhacing process.

Earlier in April, Sally completed a writing residency at the prestigious Hedgebrook Retreat in Seattle, USA, before flying to Italy to mark the launch of the Italian edition of Dark Aemilia (LA DAMA NERA, Sonzogno). Hosted by the Bookish Supper Society, the Italian celebrations took place around Venice and the Veneto, incorporating locations from Dark Aemilia and culminating in a gala dinner at the stunning Villa Godi Malinverni in Lugo di Vicenza. See our Facebook page for photographs of the sun-soaked, Italian adventure!

Comics have given me a community

‘The most important role comics have played has been to give me a community. I love reading other comics and being part of this great surge by women to tell their life stories. I set up Laydeez do Comics with Nicola Streeten in 2009. We had no idea how many people would be interested in a comics forum that focused on autobiography.’ Read this fascinating interview with Sarah Lightman in Barely South Review.

Podcast by Inkstuds at Gosh Comics

Listen here to Darryl Cunningham talking with architect-cartoonist Alison Sampson and writer James McKelvie, interviewed at London’s GOSH comic shop in November 2014 by host Robin McConnell, for the influential Inkstuds international radio show about comics.

Article for the Guardian

The Food of Love‘We must untangle the web of contradictions around breastfeeding… A focus on failure and guilt leaves little room for discussing the joy of feeding your baby.’

In an article for the Guardian, Kate writes about the challenges of, and the importance of making her voice heard on the joys of breastfeeding – also the subject of her graphic non-fiction title, The Food of Love.

Feature for the Independent

Kate Evans_Independent‘They have run all the tests. Like the majority of women with recurrent miscarriage, they have found nothing wrong with me. They don’t know why this is happening…’

Read Kate’s moving article for the Independent about her experience of miscarriage – an issue she also touches on in her books The Food of Love and Bump.

Guest post for Netmums

Kate Evans Bump page 142-143‘I had no idea, when I got pregnant, how different I would feel. I spent my time cocooned in a Zen-like fug of warm fuzzy feelings, which would be punctured at random intervals by spikes of rage or outbursts of weeping. Why did nobody warn me?’

In a guest blog post for Netmums, Kate explores and sympathises with the emotional rollercoaster many women experience during pregnancy.

Feature for the Guardian

‘If anyone had told me a year ago that I’d be a blogger I would have laughed. I am a cautious Facebook user – by turns amused and horrified at the very public way that friends (and friends of friends of friends) conduct their lives. It feels like happening upon a hidden diary and taking the wrong decision to have a quick read…’

Read Sue’s article in the Guardian  in which she talked about becoming a blogger.

In conversation with Matt Dwyer

Listen here to a podcast featuring Martine in conversation with American comedian, actor and writer Matt Dwyer, as they disucss the music industry, our declining environment and how Margaret Thatcher started the privatization of England’s social programmes.

Interview with Brighton Writers Retreat

‘I’m not someone who does housework to put off writing, I write to avoid housework. I only procrastinate when I’m getting ready to begin a long phase of work…’

Read Martine’s interview with Brighton Writer’s Retreat and find out about what she thinks about her ‘Inner critic’.

The Black Project on

‘To a lot of people illustrating a graphic novel using techniques like linocut and embroidery might seem like a strange idea.  For me it came out of a long process of questioning what I had been doing in previous comics.  Why was I using a pen, when I had picked up so many other techniques during my time in art school?’

Gareth discusses The Black Project for Waterstones, detailing his methods and influences while working on it.

Interview with Paul Gravett

‘I think things that are made using a certain level of physicality have an aura about them that really communicates strongly at a time when most things are done on computers. At the same time, modern technology means you can now take the results and convert them into different formats like comics…’

Gareth Brookes talks with Paul Gravett about embroidery techniques, suburban life, and winning the First Graphic Novel Competition.

Podcast interview with Panel Borders

As part of a month long series of Gareth_Brookes_at_work_180x0__false_nocrop_trueshows on horror and fantasy comics, Panel Borders’ presenter Alex Fitch talked to Gareth about making The Black Project. Originally broadcast in October 2013, on London’s Resonance 104.4 FM, you can listen again to Gareth’s interview.

Interview with For Book’s Sake

For Books SakeWriting about ‘the dark side of life’: from strippers in Soho to soldiers in Hamburg, Nina discusses bisexuality, feminism and sex work in a new interview with  For Book’s Sake who crown the author ‘Brighton’s fabulous queen of the gutter’.



Article for the New Statesman

New StatesmanIn an exclusive article for New Statesman, entitled ‘Why Ayn Rand is still relevant (And dangerous)’ , Darryl discusses the argument at the core of his latest work of graphic journalism, Supercrash: How to hijack the global economy (read full article).

‘My book starts with Ayn Rand. I wanted to write about Rand, because I felt if I could understand her, I could get to the heart of what has gone wrong in Western politics over the past three decades, and at the same time, define my own beliefs more thoroughly.’


Interview with Mouth London

Layla‘Strip clubs are often in the news; whether that’s the issue around licensing laws, new evidence on how clubs may effect the communities they are set in or documentaries exploring strip culture. But how often do we hear from the dancers themselves?’

Mouth London talk to Nina about writing her second novel Laylathe story of a young lap dancer.


Feature for Novelicious

Hannah Vincent NEW‘My Book deal Moment’

‘I stopped apologising for writing, declared it as my profession on my passport and in answer to people at parties who asked what I did…’

Read more from Hannah on Novelicious, as she shares the experience of signing her first book deal.

Interview with Female First

ALARM GIRL finished copies3 ‘My experience of writing plays means I am confident writing dialogue – I can hear my characters speaking to one another. I did a lot of acting when I was young and this has been helpful too – I am ‘in role’ when I am writing…’

In this interview with Female First, Hannah talks about her experiences as a playwright, the advice she offers her creative writing students and what is next for her writing career.

Interview with Post Apocalyptic Book Club

IHW 2 hi res cover‘The idea to set the novel in a climate-changed world was the end result of much thought about how the future might look. The conclusion I drew was that life in the mid-to-late 21st Century would probably look more like the historical past than the fictional future as envisaged by Hollywood…’

Martine discusses genre and talks setting her debut novel in a dysotpian world, in an interview with the Post Apocalyptic Book Club.

Isabel Ashdown returns to her old school

Isabel returned to her old school, Chichester High School for Girls to run a series of talks for Year 9 English students. She gave the girls an insight into the working life of a writer, and to offer some practical writing tips that they might take away with them to develop further.

Isabel’s advice for all? ‘Store it up, write down the dull, the fascinating, the troubling stuff – and it will undoubtedly rear up again in the future, as some kind of creative cue. Keeping a notebook is another vital habit for a writer to develop – and of course, if you want to be the best you can … read, read, read!’

Nye Wright interview in the Herald Scotland

‘I love the “golden moment.” In comics visuals, as you plot how you want to tell a story, what moments to show and what not to show, you have to choose the perfect beats in a continuum. I remember having a chat with an animator and he was jealous of the ability in comics to choose that perfect frozen moment to tell your story, and then choose another, and let the reader fill in the gaps. Animation, he said, almost felt like it made people lazy. Comics, challenges readers to work with the artist to build the story, in the mind of the reader, together. That’s some powerful stuff.’

Nye talking about why he loves comics in Teddy Jamieson’s Graphic Content section in the Herald Scotland

Nye Wright interview in The Argus

‘Mixing fantasy with the unflinching reality of living with a dying relative, the graphic novel combines tragedy, comedy and pinpoint observations of modern life, from unthinking neighbours to the caring professionals dealing with death on a daily basis…“I think of it like travel writing – if someone has gone to Rome and had an amazing experience it can be very compelling to read, whether or not you’ve been there. An autobiography can be travel writing about life, about grief, loss and getting on with it.”’

Nye reflects on his latest work in an author profile in The Argus

Nye Wright interview in The Metro

‘He was a successful architect with clients who adored him. He built some of the most celebrated houses in my home town and had a street named after him when he passed away…He’d defined himself by his work. He no longer had the energy to work, so had to turn his focus to other things…’

Nye Wright remembers his father – the inspiration behind his graphic novel, in The Metro

Nye Wright article in the Guardian Professional

‘I wish I could say that my decision at the end of 2002 to move in with and become full-time carer for my father in the last six months of his life as he succumbed to emphysema came from a deep well of saintly altruism…But that time, aided by a small, miraculous army of professional support, was also one of the most amazing of my life.’

Nye Wright discusses caring for his father in the last 6 months of his life, in an article for Guardian professional

Ian at Laydeez do Comics

Ian Williams and fellow Myriad graphic novelist, Paula Knight, took part in graphics salon Laydeez do Comics to discuss their respective graphic novels. Comic artist Jules Valera captured the event through various sketches and paintings, which you can see on her blog here.

Lesley Thomson writes in the Guardian

‘I am an only child, but for one year, when I was seven, I had a brother. David, also an only child, was three months older than me. I first met him when he visited with his father in the spring of that year. I was impressed by my uncle’s good looks, conflating him with Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes. His son – my cousin – sat on our sagging green settee, done up in a grey school uniform although it was the weekend, his socks tightly pulled up to his knees. My school did not have a uniform, and none of the boys I knew could have kept so still…’

Lesley Thomson writes in the Guardian about how being an only child has shaped her career as a writer.

Nicola Streeten interviewed for Strange Alliances Blog

What I personally like about the comic form is its immediacy. In one panel you can convey a meaning very quickly. I think that if people who are in a state of shock in a hospital, recovering from some trauma, can sit down with a book that takes an hour to get through and has pictorial prompts is much easier than reading text…

Nicola chats with Elaine Aldred about the ways in which comics and graphic novels can talk about life, in a blog interview for Strange Alliances.

Nicola Streeten attends Comics and Medicine conference

Nicola recently attended the third annual Comics and Medicine conference in Toronto, co-organised by Ian Williams, whose graphic novel The Bad Doctor will be published by Myriad in 2014. Paul Gravett opened the conference with a rousing speech about graphic medicine, including a mention of Myriad’s own contribution to the field. Ian and Nicola were later interviewed for Canadian CBC Radio’s Sunday book show, featuring Billy, Me & You. Listen to the podcast here

Nicola Streeten discusses graphics in medicine

As part of the Ethics in Performance series at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Nicola joined fellow graphic novelist Nye Wright and geriatrics specialist Dr Muna Al-Jawad to discuss the importance of Graphics in Medicine. Hear her discussing Billy, Me & You and the interchange between ethics, comics and medicine at the Graphic Medicine Comics Forum in Leeds, November 2011.

Natasha Soobramanien contributes to The White Review

‘This story may or may not end in Venice and in silent, unacknowledged tragedy but let it begin here, in London, where RubyTuesday and CallMeIshmael first meet in person, having arranged to do so under the tapestry which hangs in the lobby of The British Library…’

Natasha has contributed a short story to the prestigious quarterly art journal The White Review‘If Not, Not’ is about two internet daters, and can be found online in the fiction section of The White Review.

Podcast featuring Natasha Soobramanien

Listen to Natasha being interviewed at Edinburgh International Book Fair in a special edition of the Scottish Book Trust’s Book Talk programme. She speaks at 21 minutes into the podcast, following Kate Summerscale and Nick Harkaway.

Natasha Soobramanien’s interview with Foyles

My first encounter with Paul et Virginie was as an object – my mother’s old edition in French with beautiful engravings. I loved to look at it as a kid and would make up stories around the illustrations – some of these images have been reproduced inGenie and Paul. My mother told me the story of Paul et Virginie, but it wasn’t until I could read enough French that I came to know Bernardin de Saint-Pierre’s text.

Read Natasha’s exclusive interview with London bookseller Foyles,in full here.

‘Five-minute memoir’ in the Independent

I see now that a writing retreat is productive only if removing yourself from a life so full of distraction that you need the isolation in order to focus on your work. But if you are the kind of writer who doesn’t do much of a day to merit this or any other job title, two weeks on a remote Scottish island will not help you chip away at your writer’s block. And if you share that retreat and the remote Scottish isolation with your best and most annoying friend, also a writer and also suffering from writer’s block, writing is probably the last thing either of you will do.

Read Natasha’s ‘Five-minute memoir’, as published in the Independent magazine.

Ed Siegle interview on Booksquawk

‘I started writing Invisibles having recently returned to the UK, to Brighton, after living and working in Rio. I had a strong sense of saudade – a Portuguese word for an intense feeling of longing – for my life there, and so it made sense to write a novel about someone with a similar feeling.’

Read an interview with Ed Siegle on Booksquawk.

Ed Siegle interview on the Deckchair website

‘I don’t like to have everything mapped out, as a lot of the pleasure comes from daily discovery and invention – sitting down with a notion of what I’d like to engineer and ending up with something new.’

Read an interview with Ed Siegle on the Deckchair website.

Woodrow Phoenix exhibits some work

Woodrow recently exhibited extracts from his graphic novel, Rumble Strip, at an exhibition called Sequential City, which is part of this year’s London Design Festival. The exhibition was held at the offices of Baxter & Bailey, a design firm in Hoxton Square. There is an interview with Woodrow talking about London and the effect the city has had on his work, which you can watch here.

Interview with The Second Best Time

‘My first novel, I Have Waited, and You Have Come, is dystopian anti-chicklit – a stalker story with an unreliable narrator set in a climate-changed future, so might suit people who like creepy female characters and being scared…’

Discover Martine’s views on the differences between male and female writers, and why we need the Women’s Prize for Literature, in Stephen May’s interview with Martine for The Second Best Time blog.

Sarah Lightman interview for Lilith Blog

Sarah discusses her personal projects, involvement with the graphic community and upcoming events, as well as novel, The Book of Sarah, with Danica Davidson in the article ‘Women’s Voices Through Comics‘ for Lilith.

The Book of Sarah is a project I’ve been doing since I was twenty-one or twenty-two. I called it The Book of Sarah because my namesake, the Matriarch Sarah, doesn’t have her own book, and my brother and sister are Esther and Daniel and they have the Scroll of Esther and The Book of Daniel respectively — so I had to make things fair!’

Jonathan Kemp talks about writing to Little Episodes

‘I was writing London Triptych the whole time I was studying for a PhD in comparative literature, so I was exposed to quite radical thinking around language and narrative, exposed to some very avant-garde and experimental writers, but nevertheless it was a novel I was working on so it did conform to character arcs, etc.’

Jonathan Kemp talks writing, getting published and the language of sex with Rachel Silverlight for Little Episodes.

Jonathan Kemp Interview in Polari

“I could be a lesbian and I don’t know it” was Jonathan Kemp’s mum’s reaction when he first told her he was gay. Read Jonathan’s sensitive and frank autobiographical story about coming out, written for online LGBT magazine Polari.

Jonathan Kemp interviews Neil Bartlett

Read Jonathan’s interview with playwright and author Neil Bartlett for the Winter 2012 issue of Beige Magazine. They discuss the ‘queer aesthetic’, Bartlett’s love of Oscar Wilde and his latest and forthcoming work.

Interview with Tyler Keevil by Lucy J Loves

‘Now that I have a so-called proper job, and a couple of books out, it’s easier to get complacent and put the writing off. Mañana, right? But everybody’s busy, writers or otherwise, so there’s nothing special about my predicament. It’s a matter of will and self-discipline. I think of the writers I admire, and try to take my cue from them.’

Insightful interview with Tyler by Lucy J Loves on her blog, as part of her ‘A Day in the Life of…‘ series.

Boxing on Tyler’s Website

Evidence that writing isn’t such a solitary existence but actually quite dangerous! Tyler fought D.D. Johnston at Cheltenham Literature Festival with literary critic Dr Martin Randall (who had interviewed them first) acting as referee.  It was the first (and possibly last) boxing match the Cheltenham Literature Festival had ever seen! Head to Tyler’s website to read why the authors were boxing…

Elizabeth Haynes selected as a future crime star

Harrogate Crime Writing Festival 2012

Elizabeth was selected by ‘Queen of Crime’ Val McDermid as one of the future crime stars speaking on the New Blood panel at Harrogate Crime Writing Festival 2012. After the events she was interviewed by reading website and magazine We Love This Book.

Along with fellow panelists David Mark (The Dark Winter), Oliver Harris (The Hollow Man) and Kate Rhodes (Crossbones Yard), Elizabeth answered questions about what it means to be a crime writer today. Read full interview

Elizabeth Haynes visit to CPI printers

On press

‘The best bit of all, I think, was that the whole process of writing a book, editing it and having it accepted for publication by Myriad Editions has all been such a fantasy come true that to actually see my book turning into something solid, tangible, real… it was just amazing. It was all I could do to stop myself jumping up and down and hugging people and whooping and shouting out “Look!!! That’s MY book!!! I wrote that, me, I did!!!” ‘

See more photos of Elizabeth’s visit to CPI printers to see Into the Darkest Corner being printed or to read about it click here.

The Writer’s Room

The Writer’s Room is a project run by Lizzie and fellow author Araminta Hall, offering one-day ‘Introduction to Creative Writing’ taster courses in a magical Brighton location.

‘We believe that writing is good for everyone. You don’t have to even want to have a book published to come on one of our courses; you might want to record a special family event or start a blog or diary… Our creative writing courses are held in a cosy cabin in a beautiful secret garden in the Roundhill area of Brighton, with lunch and lots of tea and cake included.  Participants leave revitalised and often with the phone numbers of other like-minded writers in their community.’

Follow The Writer’s Room on Twitter.

Article for the Guardian

‘I’ve seen the NHS at its very worst and its very best and amassed huge amounts of material for next year’s clinical ethics lectures; I’ve written an afternoon radio play pitch for an amputation comedy. And at my rehabilitation centre, with its wonderful staff and friendly volunteers, a mug of tea is only 30p.’

Read Sue Eckstein’s article for the Guardian in which she gave a wry account of the experience of amputation.

Feature We Love This Book

‘The novel is about several things: a difficult fraternal relationship, the boundaries between unusual beliefs and mental illness. The recession is taken for granted. For my narrator, it’s just the background noise of his life.’

In a feature on the recession and literature for We Love This Book, Robert explores the way in which real-life financial crashes can form strong fictional settings.

Interview with Brighton Writers Retreat

‘How long did it take me to write my first novel? From its first incarnation as a series of letters to its final draft before publication, I’d say five years. What’s encouraging is that the unpublishable drivel of those letters somehow transmogrified over time into something that readers, real live readers, are picking up in bookshops.’

Read Nina’s interview, How to procrastinate, for local writing group Brighton Writers Retreat and learn just what it is that gets in the way of her writing.

Interview with i-studentglobal

‘Work hard, finger-achingly hard. Make sure your work is absolutely perfect before submitting to agents and publishers, and, lastly, have something to say. No point working hard at the bare bones of your writing, if there is nothing of substance to flesh it out into something fully fledged and challenging for the reader.’

Read Nina’s interview with i-studentglobal where she talks about her experience of studying at Sussex University in the early 1990s (‘eye-opening’) and discusses the motivation levels needed to be a writer (‘olympian’).

Interview with Bookgroup Info

4am‘In the early 1990s I was a student in Hamburg, where I met British soldiers on the rave scene who were struggling to balance military life with their weekends spent clubbing – their lives were the inspiration for a story which I felt simply too good not to be told…’

Read Nina’s full interview with Bookgroup Info, in which she talks about the influences behind writing her debut novel, 4 a.m. 

Lisa Cutts in an interview for Kent Libraries

‘It was crucial to me that anything I wrote about in Never Forget could actually happen and if I encountered the same scenarios and enquiries in a live investigation, I would deal with them in exactly the same way as the main character, DC Nina Foster.’

Lisa Cutts talks NaNoWriMo about insider police knowledge and books to take to a desert island, in an interview for Kent Libraries.

Lisa Cutts interview for SHOTS eZine

‘My aim, besides writing the best police procedural I could, was to show the real side to policing: basing facts on powers of search, entry, detaining a prisoner and custody time limits, but showing that officers are usually decent people with their own problems, lives and sense of humour.’

Lisa talks about writing and bringing the job home in a feature for SHOTS – the Crime and Thriller eZine.

Feature for Forbidden Planet

Darryl Cunningham Science Tales page 132-133Why did I choose to add material to the new editions of both Psychiatric Tales and Science Tales, I hear you ask? It wasn’t a deliberate choice. It was a decision that came out of a series of events…’

Darryl talks to Joe Gordon at Forbidden Planet about the new, expanded editions of his graphic non-fiction titles.

Interview with Indie Reader

Graphic Novel SampleIn an interview with Indie Reader, Darryl tells of how he first broke into the world of comics.

‘I’ve always drawn, ever since I was a boy. I wanted to write. I had these two skills. It seemed obvious to me that I should combine the two things I enjoyed doing the most…’ Full interview here.

Tom Connolly’s article in the Independent

‘There is a particular adventure in feeling that we have reached the edge of land, in the illusion that we have discovered uncharted territory, even when we do so close to home….’

Read Tom Connolly in the Independent on the Kent landscape that inspires his writing.

Bloody Scotland

Liam attended Bloody Scotland 2013 – Scotland’s second annual International Crime Writing Festival held in Stirling – where he looked quite at home on stage introducing crime legend Val McDermid (see photo). He also ran a series of workshops over the weekend and hosted an event with Irish authors Colin Bateman and James Oswald, on the subject of ‘Good craic’ – the Irish way to tell a story… Read more about the fesitval on Liam’s blog

Interview with The Undercover Soundtrack

‘When I write, there must be no sounds other than the distant purr of traffic and birdsong, and the tap of my fingers on the keyboard. But between the moments of physical writing, music plays a strong role in the development of my fictional worlds, and it provides me with a therapeutic contrast to the long hours of quiet and solitary creation.’

Isabel discusses her writing obsessions and social change on Roz Morris’s The Undercover Soundtrack.

Interview with Retreat West

‘It was several years ago that I first began to develop a fascination with memories of 1976, when I started writing in earnest, having given up my career to study English and Creative Writing at the University of Chichester. Images and senses of summer seemed to play a strong role in my writing – the heatbaked scent of drying lawns, the rise and fall of honeysuckle and the slip-slap of flip-flops on boiled asphalt – and my recollections were repeatedly drawn back to that heatwave summer, when I was turning six.’

Isabel talks to Retreat West about the creation of Summer of ’76 and her writing processes.

Guest post on Young Adult fiction blog

‘I remember my own teenage years with great clarity. From around the age of fourteen, I pretty much felt I knew my own mind, and started to leave behind the things of childhood…My interests had shifted: I wanted to read about bigger things than my parents chose for me – I was after free-thinking and books with adult themes.’

Read Isabel’s guest post on Young Adult fiction blog Mostly Reading YA as she discusses her growing popularity amongst adolescent readers.

Isabel supports NACOA

Isabel is a supporter of NACOA, the National Association for Children of Alcoholics.

Isabel says, ‘Alcoholism in the family is one of society’s best kept secrets. In families where alcohol is a problem, children are often deeply affected by the guilt of this secret, of not understanding why their parent drinks or how to help them get better. It can be a lonely place. But thanks to Nacoa, today’s children have someone they can to talk to without fear of exposure, and sometimes that’s all a child needs to help them through it. I’m proud to be a supporter of Nacoa’s vital work.’

Interview with Red magazine

Read Isabel’s moving article in Red magazine about how her father’s addiction has shaped her life.

‘When I was 21, I walked into my local bookshop and asked the woman behind the counter if they could find a particular book for me. There was no internet shopping back then, and, as it was a specialist book, it would need to be ordered. I felt ashamed asking for it, and had to repeat the title several times before the assistant located it in her trade journal. ‘Ah, yes!’ she finally declared, loudly. ‘Here it is! Adult Children Of Alcoholics!’ She looked up at me, delighted, and I wanted to die on the spot.’

Read the full article in Red magazine

Article in the Guardian: My Saturday Job

‘When I was 14 I took a job in a chemist in the West Sussex seaside village of East Wittering, where I lived. The owner was a softly spoken man called Mr Holmes who had an entirely female staff, many of whom had worked for him for decades.’

Isabel Ashdown remembers her first job working at a West Sussex Chemist in the Guardian.

Interview with Young Arnolfini

G Brookes Young Gandolfini image‘Sometimes you have to be idle, which isn’t the same as being lazy. Being idle is a creative form of laziness.’

Read about how Gareth first began making comics, his working process and his relationship with social media, in this  interview by Nicola Pearce for the Young Arnolfini collective in Bristol.

Illustrated feature for the Observer

Climate Change‘There is a prejudice, usually held by people who haven’t read one, that the graphic format is unsuited to tackling weighty subjects, but the form abounds with examples to the contrary… Far from being a frivolous medium, the graphic book is a great way of getting to grips with serious issues, Cunningham says. ‘It summarises things very quickly and you can plough through a lot of information. I love the simplicity of it.”

Darryl discusses the benefits of the graphic form, as featured in the Observer.

In conversation with Step Forward magazine

‘During the weeks I spent having the wound dressed and re-dressed, I always felt I was more than just a complicated wound or body part – that it was me, rather than just my wound, that was being treated.’

Sue talked to Step Forward magazine, for the Limbless Association, about the rehabilitation she received after her amputation.

Interview with

ravers‘The novel was based on a personal story… I went to Germany in my year abroad, studying languages. I was a real indie kid at the time. I wasn’t innocent but I turned my nose up at the whole electronic music thing.’


Discover the challenges Nina faced writing about raving, drugs & squaddies in her novel  4 a.m., in an interview for


Podcast interview with The POD Delusion

The POD DelusionListen to Darryl talking about his investigative graphics title, Science Tales, in an interview with Lisa Chalkley for weekly UK podcast programme, The Pod Delusion. Darryl’s feature begins at 57 minutes into the programme – listen here.

Comica Conversation at Orbital Comics

‘On 26 November 2011 the Orbital West Wing hosted a Comica conversation between graphic novelists Nicola Streeten and Sarah Leavitt. Nicola and Sarah have each used comics to address traumatic, highly personal experiences in their lives – Sarah Leavitt’s moving graphic memoir Tangles, published by Jonathan Cape, chronicles how Alzheimer’s disease transformed her mother, and those around her, forever. Nicola Streeten’s Billy, Me and You is a retrospective reflection of the experience of losing her two year old child thirteen years ago. In this fascinating conversation, they talk about both their books, share their experiences and discuss the use of comics to address such emotional subjects. The Orbiting Pod, ably hosted by Camila at Orbital Comics, recorded the whole thing for your listening pleasure. This is an enhanced podcast, with embedded images accompanying the audio. It’s best viewed on itunes or quicktime.’

You can listen to the podcast here.