Events in my home country force me to come out of my usual retinue, and say loud and clear how I feel about those terrorist attacks.

I’m a writer. I’m not a caricaturist or a journalist, I simply write stories for children. You might want to say, how does this affect me and my work? Well it does.

First, because once a terrorist wants to stifle those who draw and tell stories through their writing, where does it end?

Those barbarians do not want a society with humour. I need humour to live.

I claim the right to put love, sadness, hope in my stories. I claim the right to have dragons, monsters, dancers in my stories. I claim the right to draw a map if the world I’m talking about requires it. I claim the right to be happy, joyful, fiercful and free in my stories. And nothing, except the love and respect of the children I write for will stop me from putting down into words what my imagination holds.

Those barbarians do not want kids, especially girls to learn to read, because when you can read, you can think, and it isn’t  easy to manipulate someone who thinks. They want to destroy that infinite part of the soul that should never be tamed, the right to dream.

And I believe with all my hearts, that as light hearted and gentle children stories may be, they are there to inform children of the world surrounding them, of the powers they’ve got within them, of the strength they can hold when together.

So yes, by attacking Charlie Hebdo, they’re attacking all the voices that tell stories. And I will fight this with all my heart, with all my soul.



Interview with Stéphane Dauch

In the series of interview, today I’m talking to a generous actor,

Stéphane Dauch

 stéphane dauch.2



Tell us a little bit about your training,

I’ve always wanted to become an actor. I started when I was fourteen in amateur plays. It’s addictive. Once you’ve set foot you can’t get out. It’s like quick sand. My first role was Mr. Colin in Georges Dandin by Molière, a really small part, but I didn’t care, I had lots of stage presence and I loved it.

Then I joined an amateur company called La Rigole, directed by Jean-Jacques Bruni. This man’s had a real impact on me.

We were all teenager in his company, but he believed that this was not an excuse for slacking off. He was demanding with us, but in a good way. There, I learned to be truly rigorous with my work. And I believe his teaching worked well because at least two third of the people that were in that small amateur company became professional in the business, whether actors or directors.

At 23, I got into the ERAC, the Regional Drama School in Cannes. It was a wonderful training. Through that school I met lots of professionals and was faced with numerous dramatic approaches. I got to experiments with so many theatrical forms so that afterwards, I just had to choose which one suited me best. What I liked about that training is that, unlike a regular Conservatory where you only have one teacher and then people can see where you come from, there I left rich with experiences but being who I am with my qualities and defects. Continue reading

Formatting a manuscript

When writing a manuscript, I must confess I concentrated a first on the story the characters and the setting. But as the deadline to send my dissertation for my Master was coming closer I realised there was something had grossly over looked:

The formatting.

I’m not talking about typos, because those have a way of creeping behind your back. And so I believe that you need to have someone else read your manuscript to try and erase as much as you can because when you read a text you know, your brain does a silly thing and corrects the letters as you read, so you basically cannot spot any typos in your own text.


What really got me stressed was the use of coma, speech marks and so on.


So here are some basic rules, that apply to my Master at MMU and I believe in most places. Continue reading

Crimelines Launch

So, though the launch was before the Summer, I just couldn’t resist to put pictures of my mates. They’re wonderful writers and lovely people.

So here they are after the launch.

crimelines launch2 crimelines launch












To get a detailed summary of the event, just go to the MCBF page.


And remember that you can buy the Crimelines Anthology online at the MMU Online bookshop, because Reading isn’t a crime, Or is it?

Interview with Iris Feindt

Here is the last interview of my Crimelines Anthology series, and today I’m talking to Editor

Iris Feindt

Iris Feindt Author Picture 2012

[©2014 I.Feindt]


You’ve edited the Timelines Anthology, did you find this one easier to do after this experience?

Yes and no. I think with every new anthology come new challenges.

Livi, who edited Crimelines with me, and I are really used to working with each other now, which is great. We are totally on the same page when it comes to editing and we look for similar things in a story. I feel very lucky to be working with her. We collaborated with the Manchester School of Art last time and because of this, it was much easier this time around.

What was harder was the amount of stories we received and read. For Timelines we looked at perhaps 18 stories. 17 ended up in Timelines. For Crimelines we read about 30 stories, 21 making it into the anthology. Continue reading

Interview with Alison Padley-Woods

This series of Crimelines interview are coming to an end, and today I’m talking to

Alison Padley-Woods

Alison Padley-Woods Photo

[©2014 A. Padley-Woods]

Tell us how you got involved in the Crimelines project?

As a student at MMU I have been really lucky to get involved with the new Crimelines anthology that is being launched at the Manchester Children’s Book Festival this week. I am studying for a Creative Writing MA and specialising in children’s fiction, so this has been a great project to take part in and I am looking forward to reading my story ‘Honest Al’ at the John Rylands Library on Saturday. It was a challenge to write a story with a theme that is very different to anything I’ve written before and it is really interesting to see what a diverse range of stories are in the book. My story is very much inspired by two events in my childhood that I have rolled into one – with of course some added extras. Some of my school friends at the time would definitely recognise some threads of the story. Continue reading

Timelines reading

On Sunday there was a relaunch of the Timelines anthology as part of the Manchester Children’s Books Festival.

I got the chance to read in the Great Hall of a wonderful Tudor House,  Orsdall Hall. A perfect setting for a historical story.

orsdall hall


And it was lovely to see all my MA friends and share that moment with them. Though of course, standing in front of a crowd is as always nerves racking! Lucky for us our great editors Iris Feindt and Livi Michael were there to introduce us.


Iris Feindt and Livi Michael

Here is a picture some of the Timelines authors:

timelines reading 1

From left to right: Matt Killeen, Iris Feindt, Alison Padley-Woods, Emma George, Kim Hutson, Livi Michael,  Marie Dentan, Kathryn Williams, Anna Mainwaring, Luci Nettleton.

Thanks all for a great moment.