Ballads From The Lockdown

Written by Cassandra in her lockdown in Lisbon       Barbed-Wire Teeth   Last night I dreamt I had barbed wire in my teeth. In the morning I travelled to Sintra To watch the sunrise bleed Over the castle and forest That have never known barbed wire.   It was beautifully lonely, Like a…

Beauty and Freedom – The Soundtrack

  Soundtrack available on Spotify here   Music is the art form that elevates all art forms. Everything is made richer by its presence. Novels included. I am as influenced by music as I am by stories. Every novel I write I have a soundtrack in mind for it. It’s either the music I listen…

Hunting Duende in Sevilla

    Spain is unique, a country where death is a national spectacle, where death sounds great bugle blasts on the arrival of Spring, and its art is always ruled by a shrewd duende which creates its different and inventive quality. Federico Garcia Lorca     There can only be one reason why an artist…

Masculinity: Putting the M in Romance

  Is the Romance genre of literature, music and films too effeminate a domain for men to enter? When people think of Romance their mind is inevitably drawn to estrogen-fuelled, Danielle Steele-mimicking, love-and-kisses-and-bondage stories. From 50 Shades of Grey to Pride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones’ Diary, if you’re a man wanting to read or…

7 Bands that Inspired My Literature

My Japanese phase is still going strong. Since approximately May this year all I’ve read is Japanese novels. And I mean all I’ve read. It’s good to know that even after over a decade of being a writer I can still fall in love with a new piece of literature. As one would expect, my…

Maltese Elections: The Greatest Show on Earth

  No one does elections like we do in Malta. This is a fact un-related to political colours, ideologies and alignments. It is something to celebrate, and something that is prodigiously revelatory. Over the course of the last few months I’ve been working (and finishing) the first draft of a novel that has taught me…

A Poetic Foundation

  The poetic foundation of a new novel…     I   That one embrace, Arms clasped Fingers entwined; That lasts lifetimes.   Mine’s and yours. If only I knew it then.   II   I would forsake the tides of history To guarantee your happiness: And I will. But quickly, before the clouds Veil…

Why Attenborough’s Planet Earth II Matters

Ps put this on while reading: “Metaphysics must flourish. He who understand baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.” Charles Darwin The seemingly irreverent, joking quote of Darwin rang incessantly through my mind as I watched the whole of BBC’s Planet Earth II series from beginning until last Sunday’s Desert episode. It’s a phrase…