Before the Fire
It's June 2011. Stick and Mac are a couple of months shy of eighteen; summer's approaching and they're about to leave their north Manchester estate for the beaches of southern Spain. But the night before they're planning leave, Mac ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time, the victim of a random knife attack, and suddenly Stick's going nowhere. His mum doesn't want him to leave the house; his dad's desperate to be his best friend; and his nan's boyfriend keeps telling him Mac's doing just fine in the spirit world. Then he meets J and she might just be everything he needs. Except she's a firebrand with a grudge against the police, and the August riots are just around the corner...
Sarah Butler is in her early thirties and lives in Manchester. She is the author of Ten Things I've Learnt About Love, which was pre-empted by Penguin USA in a six-figure deal and translated in fourteen languages. She also runs a consultancy which develops literature and arts projects that explore and question our relationship to place. Sarah has been writer in residence on the Central Line, the Greenwich Peninsula, and at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and has taught creative writing for the British Council in Kuala Lumpur.