‘Adult bedtime books don’t come much better than this. The manner in which each story carries such bountiful emotion over only a few pages makes this an ideal bedtime companion.’ – The Big Issue in the North

‘This collection shows the versatility of the form with little vignettes of life that are funny, poignant and stuffed with the kind of ordinary people which go to highlight the fact that there really are no ‘ordinary people’.  All capture a moment in time and as the title suggest, make for a perfect read just before your head hits the pillow.’ - The Crack

‘A twilight dreamscape of hopes, fears, love and loss, The Route Book at Bedtime contains twelve highly individual, contemporary tales, all of which are a reflection of life and truth. A highly enjoyable read. The thread which pulls through all of the stories is that they are adult versions of the fairy tales which we’ve used to explain the world to children as we tuck them up under the duvet and kiss them on the forehead. Reading The Route Book at Bedtime is like looking through a photograph album full of the snapshots which make up a life, but at the same time, it doesn’t shy away from showing us those photographs which didn’t quite make the album. We’re taken on a journey through teenage crushes, love gone bad, love growing old, trying to rebuild, trying to escape, dying. It’s a collection containing stories which are at once stunningly original and familiar. Just don’t plan on getting any sleep once you open the cover…’ – The Short Review

“Nothing’s real in this place, I reckon. Everything’s a performance, a place where truths are masked, words spoken without being said.”

‘In this modern age of tweets and wall-posts, where it’s concision not content that counts, it’s great to find a collection of short fiction that carries both. In the twelve short stories that make up The Route Book at Bedtime, we get the full canon of human experience filtered down to dreamily intimate ten-minute reads. We get the agony and the ecstasy of it all: from playschool through mid-life crises to the end of days, from small towns where everyone knows everyone to the anonymity of the Big City. We also see relationships in all their forms, beginning, flourishing, failing, ending.

Like dreams, some of the stories represent leaps of escape from the daily grind. In Cally Taylor’s ‘Imagination Avenue’, there’s a neat twist on the outbreak shocker, in which a street succumbs not to H1NI or even the Rage virus, but instead to a light-hearted dusting of neighbourhood frivolity, a residents’ backlash against “rubbish adult stuff” like gardening and microwave meals for one. And Sam Duda’s ‘The Parrot’ is a delightfully uncatchable road-trip tale of beaches, bird-sitting and tombstoning that sits somewhere between Fear and Loathing and The Old Man and the Sea.

At times, of course, dreams turn to nightmare, as in the opening story by Pippa Griffin, which chronicles the cold reality of an adolescent ‘Crush’ gone sour. And at the other end of the age spectrum, the final story, ‘Smoke and Dust’ by MY Alam is the real, crushing stand-out here, a two-time narrative on mortality that brilliantly captures the generational gap between those miners of yesteryear and us minors who will never set foot in a pit.

If you’re still yet to experience the joys and growing significance of the short story, you’d struggle to find a better place to start.’ – James Hogg