I started writing as a child – mainly poems, but I do recall the opening of a highly dramatic novel which I wrote when I was about ten, and which started with the heroine giving birth to a horribly disfigured child in a thunderstorm.
My main career was in nursing, but I also wrote – and published – many short stories while bringing up my four children. I trained as a Relate counsellor when my youngest child started school but have recently stopped counselling so that I can concentrate on my writing. I also give talks to reading groups.
My first novel – Dead Ernest – was a runner-up in the Richard and Judy “How to get Published” competition (46,000 entries), and this is what really started me off as a novelist. At that stage, I had written only a few chapters of the novel, and I had to finish it before Macmillan made the decision to publish it. This was an incredibly lucky break, and without the incentive I gained from the competition (and the encouragement of Macmillan), I’m not sure that I would ever have completed a novel at all. The Birds, the Bees and Other Secrets was published the following year, and I have just completed my third novel, Basic Theology for Fallen Women.
Other interests include playing the cello, riding (I am the very lucky owner of a stunning dark bay thoroughbred gelding), and keeping up with my six grandchildren (including eight-year-old triplets) who are an endless source of pleasure and entertainment. I am also corresponding with a prisoner on Indiana’s Death Row. This is both interesting and rewarding. Most of the prisoners on America’s Death Row are poor (mine has difficulty finding enough money for stamps in order to write to me), and they are kept there for years. My pen friend has been in prison for just over a year, and his appeal – which will take at least eight years – hasn’t yet started. The system iis exceptionally cruel, and writing to a prisoner is one way of doing something about it (if you are interested, do email me for details. New correspndents are always needed).
My husband John and I prefer our creature comforts.We’re addicted to Corsica, and have holidayed there about fifteen times (actually, I think we’ve lost count). For anyone who hasn’t visited this beautiful island, all I can say is, do. It’s peaceful, beautiful and totally unspoilt, the food is wonderful and no-one speaks English, so it makes us practise our French.