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What Was Left of Her: A Story of Ghosts

When two sisters inherit their aunt’s house on the Norfolk coast, they are forced to confront the past. Thrown together on an eroding clifftop, increasingly haunted by memories of their aunt and disturbed cousin, they try to make sense of the present and its relation to their family history.

Why did their aunt die? What does their neighbour want with them, or the house? And why did their late cousin seem to hate them so much it almost reaches beyond death?

Published fiction

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I’m Vicky and I’m a writer and quite honestly it’s taken a long time to be able to call myself that without dying a little inside at how audaciously wanky that sounds. I write stories, I work on novels and sometimes I just spew out whatever is in my head in one long stream of consciousness (hence, perhaps, the foray into blogging).  

The decision to start blogging alongside the fiction, having told myself I never would because I’m ‘not that kind of person’, is probably because deep down I’m a narcissist. Some would say not so deep down. But also because I feel I need a way to communicate what’s going on in my head and I’m no good at getting my thoughts out verbally. I stumble over them and the wrong words come out and I struggle to work out what I’m wanting to say and I stop mid-sentence to stare off at that magpie over there. And that was even before I was diagnosed with MS, so either I’ve always had it or I’ve always just been a shit verbal communicator.

And there’s the MS

And yes, the MS. In some future blog perhaps I’ll tell the story of how all that came to pass and how it’s something of a family curse but that, as the lovely Michael Ende said, ‘is another story and shall be told another time’. Anyway, I figured just because my brain got hungry and decided to start eating itself that’s no reason to not write. (Disclaimer: That’s probably not the correct medical description of what’s going on in there, but clearly I’m not a doctor.)

Oh, and while I’m at it: to those who are newly diagnosed and stumbling on this: none of this shit was your fault; it could happen to anyone and it doesn’t make you pitiable. So whether you handle it as gracefully as me and freak out for a few weeks, then cut all your hair off, get too many tattoos, drink more than is good for you, fall out of a tree and break your wrist before remembering you’re on a health kick; whether you go on that health kick permanently or you go full-out hedonist and go down in a blaze of glory like Jon Bon Jovi promised he’d do back in the day only still hasn’t, there isn’t a ‘right’ way to deal with it. Whatever works for you; I’m not the MS police. I don’t even know what they’d look like.

But this blog isn’t exactly about MS (although occasionally I may wang on about how I’m feeling, at which point feel free to hum uncomfortably and look the other way if that’s not your bag); it’s about my fictional world and what inspires it (often something a bit Gothy, it turns out – someone once said to me ‘why do people always have to die in your stories?’). It’s about what makes me tick as a writer – weird little local legends, things I love, things I love to hate, occasional forays into character studies, what I struggle with (plotting…) – if nothing else, it keeps the cogs in my lesion-sprinkled brain turning.

Still reading?

Then feel free to join me in my merry and sometimes not-so-merry ramblings. As to my strange little fictional world, I’ve had some stories anthologised (links to the books on this site) and last year I published my first novella, ‘What Was Left Of Her’. It’s a ghost story of sorts, set by the sea on the Norfolk coast (think M.R. James with a bit of Shirley Jackson) and I’d love to know what you think of it. Honestly.  Even if you hate it, I won’t cry, and even if I do you won’t see me anyway so who’s to know?

Cheers everyone. Stay safe. xxx

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