Dr Claire Griffiths was born of Scotland, landed in England, and hasn’t quite found her way home yet. She is Head of Creative Writing at Northeastern University London. Her short stories and flash fiction have been published by Vestal Review, Reflex Press, Litro, 101 Words and Flash Fiction Magazine, broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and placed in competitions including the Bridport Short Story Prize, the SmokeLong Quarterly Flash Fiction Award, the Bristol Short Story Prize, the Bath Short Story Award and the Bridge Awards Emerging Writers Award.
Q: What is the first book you remember reading or having read to you as a child?
A: A giant picture book (or it seemed giant) about the solar system that my dad used to read to me at night. We’d get lost in black holes and galaxies until Mum came to tell us off for staying up too late.
Q: Do you have a lucky writing talisman? If so, what is it?
A: Not as such, but I did inherit a beautiful, battered old writing desk from my partner’s great aunt a few years back that makes the whole experience that much more pleasurable.
Q: Do you have a favourite quote? (From a book, film, song, speech…)
A: ‘It was to be taken seriously, Olive saw this. All love was to be taken seriously.’
Q: Is there a book that you keep going back to, and if so, how many times have you read it?
A: I could read Elizabeth Strout’s words forever. Profound feeling which hits harder for being simply put.
Q: If you could teleport yourself anywhere, real or fictional, where would it be and why?
A: One of the lands at the top of the Faraway Tree. Preferably the one they found the tidbit jar in.
Q: Who is your personal inspiration?
A: Dolly Parton, now and always.
‘Now, Joshy!’ Wee-lad launches Nanny’s boot off the zipline platform. Her second-hand Clarks carves a small rainbow, bark chippings tumbling from it as it flies. No often he does as he’s telt these days, Alistair thinks. Or so’s he keeps hearing. They’ve been playing ‘Chuck Nanny’s Shoe’ since they got to Duthie Park and realised …