I have completed five novels, including a trilogy set in the ancient Roman world, and a science fantasy tale.  I’m working on my sixth, and am currently seeking representation. 

I have over seventy short pieces of fiction published in various places, some of these can be read online through links on ‘My Short Fiction’ page.  Others are available in anthologies.

Favourite Books:

The Magic toyshop - Angela Carter

I Am Legend - Richard Matheson

The Night Watch - Sergei Lukyanenko

The Eye in the Door - Pat Barker

Saturday - Ian McEwan

The Passion - Jeanette Winterson

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Hey Nostradamus! - Douglas Coupland

Someone Like Me - Tom Holt

A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

Valdez is Coming - Elmore Leonard

The Accidental - Ali Smith

The Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson

Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes

Life of Pi - Yann Martel

Favourite short stories:

Elephant - Raymond Carver

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere - ZZ Packer

Hunters in the Snow - Tobias Wolff

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas -

Ursula K. LeGuin

Are These Actual Miles? - Raymond Carver

Cavalry Boots - Elmore Leonard

Here We Are - Dorothy Parker

Favourite Movies:

The Big Lebowski,Fight Club,

LA Confidential, Bladerunner,

Wonder Boys, The Usual Suspects,

District 9

Favourite TV series:

Buffy, Rome, Firefly, Six Feet Under,

Farscape, Survivors, True Blood,

The Big Bang Theory, The Walking Dead

I’m part of the editorial team for the FlashFlood Journal, *submissions currently closed*. 

Click here to view the latest issue, posted on Friday 17th April, 2015. 

A selection of independent presses/literary magazines can be found on my ‘For Writers’ page.

Please feel free to contact me through Twitter or via the e-mail address below for comments on my site, my work, or writing/stories/movies in


Email: shirl-golden@hotmail.com

                                                           ***Star Ratings***

I occasionally review fiction (my favourite genres are sci-fi, fantasy and historical fiction), but to say I don’t like star ratings would be an understatement.  I appreciate they give an indication of whether a book was deemed good (or not) but a particular rating from one person can mean something vastly different to another. 

    No doubt, I’ll write further reviews, and as Amazon won’t allow posts without star ratings, I thought it would be useful to consider my approach.

    Firstly, I try to be honest, and objective (as much as it is possible).

    Secondly, I am generous with my ratings.  I can’t help it.  I appreciate the work that goes into shaping a story and I don’t like to demoralise other writers. 

    If a novel or short story collection is well written and I admired most of it, I will award five stars.  I don’t reserve this top rating for work I’m blown away by, as I feel this is a more subjective approach. 

    I will award five stars even if I notice a few editorial oversights, as long as the characters engaged me and the story/ies flowed throughout.  I’ll flag up these quibbles rather than remove a star, but only if the oversights didn’t interfere with my understanding.

    Four stars means I still admired the book but something didn’t quite work for me.  Perhaps connections to the characters felt inconsistent, or the sense of time or place wasn’t always strong enough.  Perhaps the pace didn’t feel right for the form.  For short stories this might mean the language needed to be tighter in places.  Conversely, if the language is reduced to the point where the meaning is ill-defined, this can also have a negative effect.  Having to re-read a few times is not necessarily a bad thing, but in such cases, the subtext must be powerful and I would need to feel it was worth the extra effort.

    Three stars means I found the work was good on the whole but the type of problems mentioned above occurred more frequently, impeding the narrative flow.

    I’m still debating whether I would post a two or one star review.  Probably not, as in these cases, it’s unlikely I finished reading the book.  Although this might be indicative of poor quality in itself, I feel I have no business making comments on work I have not read thoroughly.

Review LINK