At the Bottom of the Stairs

At the Bottom of the Stairs is a novella-in-flash. It was shortlisted for the Bath Novella-in-Flash Award 2019 and made the top three in the Reflex Novella Award 2021.

It is due to be published by Reflex Press in early 2022. Check back here for details!


Rachel is 10 years-old when a dog is rocketed into space. When she is 16, the first female astronaut orbits the earth. At 17, she falls in love with Tommy. But Rachel and Tommy’s love is not written in those distant stars. Facing disapproval and uncertainty, they find themselves forced apart.

Half a century later, when they bump into each other in a hotel bar, Rachel and Tommy are confronted with a lifetime of what-ifs. Rachel’s life of social conformity has brought her the joys and heartbreaks of motherhood. Tommy’s marriage into high society has made him the most famous artist of a generation. But what if they had never given up on their dreams of adventure? Is what they gained apart worth as much as all they might have had together?

At the Bottom of the Stairs is a story of climbing trees and female space explorers; of loving the life you didn’t lead and learning to love the one you did.