In time-honoured tradition, here are a few snippets about my life, my writing life and me. A potted history, if you like.
I was born in County Durham (UK) but oddly, I feel that I have never been there, as my family moved ‘down south’ when I was about six. I have vague memories about teasing because of my Geordie accent when I started primary school – the accent is long gone – I sound like a proper southerner now.
School was average and no, I cannot boast any early pretensions about wanting to be a writer. I have mild dyslexia. At school, the muddled words and inability to remember anything by rote marked me out as lazy, or stupid, and usually both.
I was good at art and did begin A levels but the stress of still trying to tackle core subjects meant I dropped out fairly quickly and went into hairdressing.
Hairdressing and I got along fine. I travelled the world working on cruise liners, came home and opened my own salon.
Somewhere in the above, I got married too young and divorced. I could go into detail, but how long do you want this post to be?
Anyway, I married again. This time I got it right. When pregnant with our first child, I sold the salon. I was not sure what I wanted to do next. In the throes of new motherhood, I decided I wanted to teach.
The big thing that had happened was computers. My husband bought one and persuaded me to ‘have a go.’ As soon as I poked that mouse and played that keyboard, I just knew that here was my salvation. Everything I battled with - illegible handwriting, misspelt words, lack of connectives – were now easily corrected with the machine’s help. I taught myself to type properly with an online course and took a degree with the Open University followed by a PGCE – I became a primary teacher.
Time has flown. Our two children have left the nest and it is many years since I had ‘my own class.’ Supply Teaching proved to be the answer for me. Working for a large agency allowed me to choose my working hours which gave me almost enough writing time. Then, finally, I decided it was time to give my writing a chance and gave up teaching altogether.
I began writing a ghastly ‘novel’ when I was working on those cruise liners. I cannot remember much about it, which is probably just as well. Something vaguely romantic scrawled into a notebook at first and then on one of those ‘brother’ typewriters that had a tiny screen showing the sentence in progress. The title was ‘Good People’. No idea why.
I am pleased to announce that my work-in-progress for the last few years is finished. Crystal Bound is a dark fantasy series set in a medieval-type world. It has been great fun to write but now I am very excited to start a new story in a different, futuristic world. This time I’m not going to let it take ten years to complete.
I also write magazine articles in a variety of subjects encompassing writing fantasy, independent publishing, women’s issues, teaching and psychology.
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