Maria C. McCarthy has two writing obsessions: her Irish heritage and the decline of traditional orchards in Kent. She is the author of As Long as it Takes, linked short stories about Irish women in England, and two poetry collections, strange fruits and There are Boats on the Orchard. She is currently working on a memoir, No Love Lost, on the theme of family estrangement. She was the winner of the Tom-Gallon Trust Award 2015 for her short story ‘More Katharine than Audrey’. She lives in the Medway Towns.