Winning a tin of chocolate in a national essay competition at primary school inspired me to become a writer!
After graduating from UEA, I took various jobs in the public sector writing research papers and policy notes by day and filling up spare drawers with embryonic novels by night. Losing my dad to cancer made me realise that if I was ever going to get a novel published I had to put my writing first.
In seven words, I’m …
I will abso-berludy-lutely cling on to what’s important to me. A dear friend introduced me to running. We joined Epsom Allsorts, an all women’s group with formidable skills in talking and laughing whilst running and the club highlight was the dreaded Hog’s Mill Run. As a novice runner I learned that by doing the work, hanging on in there and putting one foot in front of another you can achieve half marathons. It’s a lesson I apply to everyday life. Every novel starts with a single word.
When my daughters were little they were very impressed by a nature programme about a mother warthog defending her young. ‘Ooh, that’s just like you, Mummy,’ they said. No one makes my babies cry and gets away with it as one or two horrid smelly boys have discovered along the way. Hurt my girls and you will find yourself cast out into deep space for all eternity.
Doesn’t really go with tenacious, does it? But, I’m driven by a fear of time running out so anything that takes up too much of it drives me nuts. I get very bad-tempered if I can’t make something quickly. No one comes near when I’m making curtains and one incident of pastry-making almost caused a fatality.
I don’t mean nosy. What I mean is that I’m keenly interested in hearing the next piece of music that transports me, the next book I don’t want to put down, the next poem I can’t forget. I’m curious about what’s out there.
Are you allowed to say you’re brave? I am though, because I think anyone who goes to sea in a small boat is brave, especially when there’s seasickness to overcome as well. I’m quite proud that I’ve sailed from Walton-on-the Naze to west Wales and across the Channel and back … even if my head was in a bucket most of the way.
Now I’m not saying I’ve succeeded, but I try to be kind because what is the point if we don’t look after each other?
Like everyone, I’ve been through the wringer and some tough times, but so far as loved ones are concerned I’ve been very fortunate. You know who you are. Thank you.