Tell me about you, as a writer
I like girls. The ones who can see it all, just out of reach, and the ones who can’t see past their next meal, the next bill, the next fight, the next Friday night. I like writing girls’ stories. Especially the ones whose stories don’t usually get told.
Your new play The Curse was on at the Three Minute Theatre earlier this month. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
The Curse tells the story of Char and Lola. They’re best friends, and they can’t wait for a wild summer now that school’s out forever. But then terrible, inexplicable things start happening in their town, and their already-intense friendship is faced with its most extreme test yet.
What was your inspiration for writing it?
Girls have so much power and potential, but being a teenage girl is such a volatile, turbulent time. It’s a time of transition; when you can see all the things wrong with the world, but don’t yet have the capacity to do much about it. Your behaviour is often very tightly controlled; by parents, teachers, and society. That can lead to resentment, frustration, and destructive impulses – which either get turned inwards or outwards. The Curse is all about those tensions, about Char and Lola’s fears and frustrations, and whether their friendship can survive all the changes they’re both going through.
You showcased a short version of The Curse as part of 3, 6, 9 Women in the Spotlight. What inspired you to take part in the programme?
The opportunity to write for the stage with so much support. Getting the initial ten-minute piece critiqued, cast, directed and staged would have been a massive undertaking on my own, and – having never written a play before – I wouldn’t have known where to start! I learnt so much from the 3,6,9 programme and it was an incredible confidence boost.
When did you decide you wanted to develop this piece to full length?
It was such a positive experience that I couldn’t just leave it at that! Taking part in the 3,6, 9 programme really helped me develop my knowledge and experience of writing for the stage, and made me see the potential for expanding that skill-set even further. Getting such positive feedback and support from the audience, directors and actors also gave me the conviction that The Curse scope for expansion – to tell Char and Lola’s story in the detail it deserved.
What’s next for The Curse?
World domination! Kidding. The pilot performances were so useful, and the cast, crew and audience all gave me lots of food for thought, so I want to take some time to process that feedback. There’s been a lot of interest in the idea of touring it, which is an exciting possibility for the future, but it definitely needs another re-write first…
What was your highlight of the whole experience?
Working with such an amazing cast and crew. They taught me a massive amount and I’m still in the process of taking it all in! And getting to see my writing staged and engaged with by three consecutive sell-out audiences was also beyond brilliant. I learnt so much from seeing how people responded, and it was such a rewarding experience.
Where else can we find your work?
I’ve had short stories published by Dog Horn, Pankhearst, Out of the Gutter, Nib Magazine and a few others. My journalism’s been published by Mslexia, The Guardian, Bitch and more, and I’m also the editor of a few short story collections: Short Stack, Derby Shorts, Tongue in Cheek and (RE)Sisters. Find out what I’m up to via my website, Twitter or Instagram.
What does the future hold for you in your writing career?
From taking part in 3,6,9 to the pilot performances of extended version, I’ve been working on The Curse in one form or another for almost a year. So – although I definitely do intend on developing it further – I’m looking forward to spending some time with my first literary love, short stories. I’m hoping to put together a collection, so I need to get writing more material for that!