It’s Gone Dark Over Bill’s Mother’s

Dominated by the working-class matriarch, this collection celebrates the stories that would otherwise go untold.

With a sharp eye and tough warmth, It’s Gone Dark over Bill’s Mother’s – a Potteries saying for ‘it looks like rain’ – Lisa Blower strikes a new chord in regional and working-class fiction.

From the wise, witty and outspoken Nan of ‘Broken Crockery’, who has lived and worked in Stoke on Trent for all of her 92 years, never owning a passport, to happy hooker Ruthie in ‘The Land of Make Believe’; to sleep deprived Laura in ‘The Trees in the Wood’; to young mum Roxanne in ‘The Cherry Tree’; she appears in many shapes and forms, and always with a stoicism that is hard to break down.

It’s Gone Dark Over Bill’s Mother’s

Her hometown Stoke-on-Trent is the setting that binds together different narrative forms and a fearsome array of matriarchs.

Kerry Hudson


‘Abdul’ – long-listed for The Sunday Times Short Story Award, 2018
‘The Trees in the Wood’ – ‘Spindles: The Science of Sleep’ – Comma Press, 2015.
‘The Land of Make Believe‘ – Highly Commended, Bridport Prize 2015 Anthology, Redcliffe Press
The Cherry Tree’ – first appeared in ‘The Casual Electrocution of Strangers‘ – Literary Salmon, October 2015 download here. Longlisted for Best Anthology, Saboteur Awards, 2016
‘Prawn Cocktail’ – for Short and Sweet, Birmingham Literature Festival, October 2015
‘Dirty Laundry’ – Short Story Sunday, January 4th 2015.
‘Chuck and Di’ – The Luminary, ‘Hidden Voices‘ anthology, September 2014
‘Pot Luck’ for BBC Radio 4, broadcast May 2nd 2014 at 3.45pm – Listen to a snapshot here: Pot Luck on Radio 4
‘Johnny Dangerously’, in The New Welsh Review, March 2014
‘Barmouth’, shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award, 2013, Comma Press
‘Oceans of Stories’ for Bookanista
‘Broken Crockery’, Winner, The Guardian National Short Story competition, 2009

Worth buying for the first story alone… heart-breaking is too mundane a word to describe it.

Robin Ince

Praise for It’s Gone Dark over Bill’s Mother’s

Reading Lisa’s stories is like being given the privilege of scouring over the UK’s lesser known towns and picking the roofs off people’s houses, then the tops off their minds and delving in to the innermost thoughts and feelings and heartaches and eccentricities of all of those diverse and beautiful and terrible human beings whose stories we hardly ever hear. I wish there was a Johnny Dangerously in everybody’s heart.
Hollie McNish, poet, performer, writer
Lisa Blower is a rare thing – a working class voice in the world of the short story. Her stories are at times the laugh-out-loud funny of Alan Bennet and at others, the achingly sad of the great, David Constantine.
Paul McVeigh
A really lovely collection of stories… like Alan Bennet’s monologues, they’re wonderfully funny and wise… Lisa Blower writes with precision and humour; she is a master of the short story form and really stands out for me.
John Mitchinson, Backlisted podcast
Emotionally draining, hard-hitting and brilliantly written. I came away from this collection with the sense that here is a writer who could take her talent in any direction.
The Quietus
Stunningly engaging writing… in equal parts comedic and achingly sad.
BookishChat, Book Blogger
Top-notch short fiction, showing remarkable depth of voice, character and human bonds.
The Literary Sofa
This is a fine collection of 20 tough but tender tales by a writer who celebrates the lives of uncelebrated people with compassion and caustic wit.
The Morning Star
An immense collection. So filmic as well. I had to read it twice to confirming beautiful awareness.
Mike Garry

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