Focusing on Virginia Woolf's close and inspirational female friendships with the key women in her life, Vanessa Curtis offers a portrait of the writer, looking at both the effect of these relationships on her emotional life and the inspiration that each woman provided for the female protagonists in her fiction. Women inspired and fascinated Woolf until the day she died, evoking not only her loyalty, love and wit, but also anger, envy and insecurity. The author begins by exposing the lesser known details of Woolf's Victorian childhood, spent underneath the suffocating wings of the "angels in the house" who instilled in her a lifelong battle between creativity and convention. The journey continues with a study of the other women in Woolf's life; her silent sister, Vanessa Bell; enigmatic artist Dora Carrington; complex writer Katherine Mansfield; aristocratic novelist Vita Sackville-West and riotous, militant composer Ethel Smyth. The book takes the reader on a journey through the most important female relationships of Woolf's life, drawing on previously unpublished archives, ultimately revealing a portrait of Virginia Woolf as writer, daughter, sister, lover and friend.
I never thought I'd write books for children, but somehow 'Zelah Green' was born and it's been uphill all the way ever since! 'Zelah' won the Manchester Children's Book Awards in 2010 and was shortlisted for the Waterstones, the NASEN and the Young Minds awards too. A sequel to Zelah followed (Zelah Green: One More Little Problem(Egmont) and then two new books published by Frances Lincoln and featuring fourteen-year-old Lilah May (The Taming of Lilah May/Lilah May's Manic Days). 2012 marked the publication of my first ghost novel for teens, 'The Haunting of Tabitha Grey' (Egmont, April 2nd). The novel was shortlisted for seven awards. I had such fun researching this novel in the spooky manor house that inspired it! My latest book deal is with Usborne and my YA novel 'The Earth is Singing' will be published by them in January 2015 to tie in with International Holocaust Memorial Day. The novel features Hanna Michelson, a fifteen-year-old Jewish girl who finds herself caught up in the horrors of Nazi invasion in 1941.
I also offer tuition to aspiring children's author at www.curtisliterary.co.uk