Norfolk film-maker writes debut novel for young adults

Norfolk novelist and film-maker Sally-Anne Lomas

Norfolk film-maker Sally-Anne Lomas's debut novel for young adults, Live Like Your Head's On Fire, is published this month. - Credit: Contributed

Writer and film-maker Sally-Anne Lomas’s debut novel for young adult readers, Live Like Your Head’s On Fire, was published earlier this month.

Aimed at readers aged 12-plus, the novel centres around Pen Flowers, a 15-year-old girl who climbs out of her bedroom window at night and dances in the empty streets to escape the pressures of home and school.

Sally-Anne lives in Norfolk with her husband and their pets. For most of her life she has worked as a television producer making documentaries and short films for BBC, C4, ITV, and Animal Planet.

She produced and directed The Search for the Lost Manuscript: Julian of Norwich, a BBC Four documentary about the 14th century mystic who was the first woman to write a book in English, winner of the Royal Television Society East – Best Factual Documentary Award 2017.

She also works with children and young people to make films and was a 2016 winner of the National Centre for Writing’s Escalator scheme for new writers.

Live Like Your Head’s On Fire is the first book in her Fire Trilogy, and will followed by Love Like Your Heart’s On Fire which should be published in 2022.

Publication of the book also marks the launch of Norwich-based Story Machine’s new publishing list.

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Formed to publish exciting new writers, Story Machine aims to bring books and readers together by creating innovative experiences.

The launch for Live Like Your Head’s On Fire is supported by a dance-themed trailer of Pen running and dancing, using movement as an outlet for her emotions, shot in the King Street and Riverside areas of the city and a social media campaign to get people dancing during lockdown.

Director of Story Machine, Sam Ruddock, is looking forward to seeing where this project will go.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Sally-Anne Lomas on this unique project. Ever since I read Live Like Your Head’s On Fire I’ve had a yearning to dance the deserted lockdown streets, to cast off the frustrations of isolation and be free for a few minutes. Pen’s story is one that will speak to everyone who has ever felt trapped.”

Watch the trailer and find out more at

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