All posts by admin

Dinosaur dreams


I am a dreamer. An unashamed daydream-believer.

I was that child being told off for staring out of the classroom window; that child who, when she should have been doing whatever it is that Brownies do, was outside playing with the leaves and talking to the trees.

I had two tiny dinosaurs who lived in a shoebox. They  would hop about on my shoulders and keep me company. The day came when I opened up the shoebox to find the dinosaurs had gone. But my daydreaming nature has never up and left me.

Dreams are important.

Waking dreams may tell us our subconscious desires. Sleeping dreams may tell us about our unconscious. Both types of dreams, if we listen to them, can give us guidance. They can help us to create the future self or future life to which we aspire.

Dreams, however, are nothing without goals.

I don’t think that a fairy godmother will wield a magic wand and grant me the things I wish to have,  and I don’t think that a pot of gold is going to fall in my lap, either.

In The Summer Sacrifice, some of my characters have potentially enormous Gifts. But those Gifts don’t come fully-formed. Jamie Tuff is strong, but her strength has to be tested. Her best friend Seveny is powerful, but she has to work at controlling that power.  Nothing comes easy for them, and I believe that makes the rewards they reap all the richer.

Life can press the dream out of the biggest dreamer—but only if we let it.  And those that keep dreaming and work to make their dreams a reality, have the potential to change the world.

In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream—Lingering in the golden gleam—Life, what is it but a dream?

—Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass


A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

—Oscar Wilde


We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

—William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream


All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together.

—Jack Kerouac


Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

—Edgar Allan Poe


Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.

—Terry Pratchett

Bringing The Summer Sacrifice to life

The Summer Sacrifice spent three years in the note-taking, doodling and scene-writing phase, and two years in the do-your-research-then-sit-down-and-write-till-your-contact-lenses-are-welded-to-your-eyeballs phase. During those years I had other engagements, like touring the world as Desdemona in Othello, playing delightfully ghastly characters in a staged version of Gulliver’s Travels armed with knee pads and stilts, and acting in indie films such as Occupying Ed.

When writing The Summer Sacrifice, apart from the days where the words weren’t flowing, or when I was acting or doing other life things, I generally wrote for between eight and twelve hours a day. I rarely left my perch to eat.

Me Sitting on my Perch, by Holly Hinton, 2013.For the next book in the series, I plan to do things a little differently. I’m not sure that spending all that time in front of a screen without human contact or sun on my skin was too healthy. At the time I felt that if the book was to be written, something I so desperately wanted, then this was what I needed to do. But people did worry about me. “Are you a vampire?” was a question asked with genuine concern. “No,” I answered. “When I’m out in the sun, my skin doesn’t burn.” (This is true. I’m a quarter Nigerian and fortunate in that regard.) But their concern was duly noted. Being a keyboard-tapping recluse isn’t great for anyone’s nerves.

Are you a Vampire? by Holly Hinton, 2013.

Fun and Menace

doodle-owlThe links between comedy and tragedy are as deep as the furrows on a Braintickler’s forehead. (That is, very.) All of us are one misstep away from gliding like swans over polished floors to becoming lame ducks. One wrong breath will turn laughter to tears. And to get through the bad stuff, laughter is what’s needed. Comedians can tell us something about our lives by laughing us to recognition.

Laughter is healing.

The Island on which the Master Game Series takes place is Goddess-awful. The Island’s largest inhabited area is called No Place, and the Island’s children are forced to attend Pity Me School. The Island is governed by an Establishment who rule with iron crooks. They build fences and put people into boxes. And if you do not fit their mold, you have to be destroyed…

“Where’s the fun in that?” you may ask. But Jamie Tuff and her friends manage to find it, whether it’s in a quiet moment in Blue Wood or a much-needed bitching session during a sleepover. It’s in the playing of Brainball before you get interrupted. Their lives are liveable because, though menace is ever-present, the potential for laughter is also always lurking. And that’s before they have any kind of real escape.

Laughter is escape.

The Summer Sacrifice is not an out-and-out comedy; it may not have you rolling on the floor. But perhaps when you most need it, humour will take you by the hand and lead you through the Sea of Life and Death. At least, I hope that is the case.


I am in the process of recording an audiobook of The Summer Sacrifice. I am very excited about bringing the story to life in this way. Excerpts from the book will be available to listen to and download for free on my website. When they’re available I will shout about it loudly, don’t you worry. (Note: shouting won’t be a technique I use on the audiobook. It’s bad practice, I hear.)doodle-flower