Mandy Huggins is the author of Brightly Coloured Horses, a collection of flash fiction. Huggins wrote this book over the last five years, many of her stories have won awards and been published in The Guardian and The Telegraph.
Mandy originally from Scarborough currently lives in West Yorkshire. Her family has a long history with God’s Own County. Her mother is from Kirkbymoorside and her father is from North Yorkshire.
Mandy said this about Yorkshire: “No one can be expected to pick just one favourite thing about the greatest county in England! The scenery is spectacular - particularly the North York Moors and the coast - and Yorkshire people are the absolute best.”
The book was inspired by her personal experience and travels but also by random sparks of imagination. Mandy often writes about one of her favourite settings, the North Yorkshire Coast.
The collection includes small snippets of life that often go by unnoticed, strangers conversations, birds flying in the sky and the unmarked beauties that our eyes glaze over. Mandy’s flash fiction makes you think of what you have missed about your every day. Are there hidden gems in your forgotten memories?
International Women’s Day is March 8, this year’s message is #pressforprogress. Despite tremendous change in many sectors of the UK, there are still inequalities. This is true in the literary world, Mandy explained: “I think that although book publishing in general is probably dominated by women, there is still strong gender bias when it comes to literary fiction, and men are taken far more seriously than women. I think there a lot of truth in the claim that men read more books written by male authors, thus reducing the potential readership for female writers of contemporary fiction.”
She continued: “ As far as my own work is concerned, my writing explores themes of loss, longing, grief and hope, and I find that women relate very closely to these themes in my stories.”
Literature has the power to create joy, inspire and even change you. When Mandy was asked if she thought that books could have a positive impact on young girls she said this: “Yes, definitely. There have always been strong, smart and empowering female characters in literature - Jo March in Little Women, Lucy in The Chronicles of Narnia, Roald Dahl's Matilda, and Charlotte Bronte's Jane, who only marries Rochester when she knows they can be equal partners.”
Mandy explained that she thought it is possible for literature to have a positive influence on young girls but then need to be guided by teachers and family. She recommended a book named The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell, a book set in snowy Russia with strong female characters. For girls who want to read about brave women this International Women's Day.
Her collection of short fiction is available to buy from Amazon.