Nothing is ever an ending or a beginning. Life is a long stretch of middle.
I have been writing fiction since I was fourteen. My short stories have appeared in literary magazines such as Litro, Gold Dust and Brittle Star, and my work was included in Electric Reads’ Young Writers’ Anthology 2015. In 2015 I completed my MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. I also run a literary blog and YouTube channel, ‘Books and Things’. I currently live in London, where I work in publishing, at Elwin Street Productions. I have recently finished my novel, Pinpoints and am now working on a new project.
Pinpoints is a literary fiction novel of 80,000 words. In 1989, Sophie and her four best friends, Ella, Sam, Harriet and Benjamin, are eighteen years old and ready to claim the world together. They believe nothing can break the threads that tie them to each other. Yet six years on, in 1995, their friendships are already fraying, and a chance reunion in the corner of a birthday party can only pull them together for so long. In 2000, tensions rise and bonds snap. 2005 turns to 2009 turns to 2014, and as their lives brim with work, changes, and disappointments, the friends are pushed are further and further apart. The novel is structured in six pinpoints, taking six significant moments to snapshot the changing relationships of these friends. We follow their interweaving lives over twenty-five years, from their last party before leaving home, to a solemn reunion in their forties.
Enjoy the short extract of PINPOINTS below!
Part 1. September 1989
It was the first time I’d really noticed how large Benjamin’s hands were. Clumsily large, unavoidably large. They weren’t soft either, not like Alex’s. They were as rough and coarse as the grass we lay on, worn out by the dry summer months. He held my right hand loosely, noncommittally in his, and it seemed to make years of the few months between us, as though he were an adult and I some child who’d been left in his reluctant care.
My left hand was in Ella’s. She held it differently, a firm friendly grip, a refusal to let go. On her other side was Sam, their hands properly intertwined, fingers slotted through fingers. Across from Benjamin lay Harriet, long dark hair encircling her head. She was snapping blades of grass with her free hand.
Ella and Sam looked at one another. The rest of us looked at the sky.
The clouds were moving faster than they ought to, smudges of white merging and shifting and drifting apart within seconds. I watched them dance and spin above us. An aeroplane flew overhead, a distant rumble echoing through our silence. I narrowed my eyes, focusing on the white streak it left behind, staining the sky like memories stain your thoughts, like the marks blue tack leaves on your walls when you peel off old photographs. My eyes were stinging anyway. Hay fever mixed with some sort of sadness, that knowing sorrow you get on nights that are both beginnings and endings. There were not many people in the world I could be this comfortable with, lying on our backs in Benjamin’s garden, staring at the sky in a contented silence. There were not enough people I loved that much.
I was eighteen years old and I was afraid. I gripped Ella’s hand tighter.