I am originally from the suburbs of Manchester, but now live with my two teenagers in a small market town in Lancashire. My love of reading started as a young girl, following the adventures of Enid Blyton’s Secret
Seven and Famous Five books. My formative years saw me furtively loaning racier novels from the library by Harold Robbins and Jackie Collins, much to the consternation of my mother! However, besides the racy elements, I enjoyed being transported
to the glitzy world of Hollywood and beyond. I was soon unable to control my itchy feet and at the age of eighteen, having finished college with a view to working in the local travel agent, I decided to see the world with my own eyes. With little funds and
the constant need to work, I experienced cultures and customs, otherwise unknown to the tourist industry. Like many people, I can’t remember what I did yesterday, but I do remember vividly memories of my travels, some of which inspired my debut novel
- Going Upside Down. I like to describe my writing as ‘chick lit with a travel kick’ and have a plethora of drafts running around in my head, eager to make their way to my laptop.
Returning to my
life in the green hills of Lancashire, I eventually conformed and became a full time housewife and mother for seven years, until my children’s primary school teacher encouraged me to apply for a position as a cover supervisor in a local High School.
Ten years later, I am still there - aiding and encouraging pupils to embrace the written word. Needless to say, Collins and Robbins have been replaced by Golding and Steinbeck! I do love reading with the pupils and the calmness that ensues. Furthermore, I
feel blessed that for thirteen weeks of the year, I am able to gaze out of my bedroom window at the uninterrupted view of green fields and tap away to my heart’s content on my new laptop.
Finally, I hope you enjoy
reading my debut novel as much as I have writing it; I assure you, there’s more to come.
Can you summarise your
latest work in just a few words?
Yes, Romance and family revelations
was the inspiration for this book?
I love a good beach read and the majority of the books I read always have an element of escapism in sun drenched countries. Australia
has a special place in my heart thus I wanted to steer away from the typical Australian travelogue and mix chick lit fiction with the cultural indigenous history and also put some of the lesser known outback towns on the map.
Did you do any research for the book?
Yes I did. Most of it was via the internet, researching the aboriginal culture and facts about the different cities and towns. I also had fun finding humorous Australian colloquialisms, which I
hope will make the reader smile.
How do you decide on the names for your characters?
Sometimes a name just springs to mind. Sometimes I look around the staff room at work and
think – ah, yes his or her name will suit my character. However, most of the time, names which I have always liked, form the names for my characters.
Which writers have influenced your
I highly respect Emily Barr, author of Cuban Heels. Also, Paige Toone, author of Lucy in the Sky and Belinda Jones, author
of I love Capri, introduced me to chick lit novels with an element of escapism and travel.
What are you working on next? Do you have a WIP?
Yes, I do have a WIP. I am very excited about this one as it was my first idea to start writing.
However, I knew I would only be able to start it when the time was right – like NOW! All I can reveal at this stage is that it is set in Crete and involves a young English girl and a Greek kamaki!
Tell us about your travels.
I feel blessed that from the age of eighteen, I more or less
travelled and worked around the world for ten years. I first got bitten by the travel bug when I answered an advert in the local paper for employment opportunities at the Butlins camps. So, after little deliberation, I boarded a train to Minehead in Somerset
and from there, well the rest is travel history. Returning home to the safety net of my parents and home comforts for a few weeks at a time and to recharge my batteries, the countries I visited and worked in thereafter, in chronological order are – Athens, Jersey, Crete, Israel, Holland, Guernsey, Australia, New Zealand, 16 states of the USA, Canada, Central America – England – my homeland. Since then, the usual package holiday to
Spain and Greece.
Tell us about your childhood.
I had a wonderful childhood growing up in the suburbs of Manchester with my parents and two brothers. We were fortunate to live in a drive full of children, where we spent many adventures down on the field, making dens
and rope swings over a murky brook. Then in my early teens, while my friends spent their free time hanging around bored and restless on local parks or watching endless television, I was to be found in the back garden helping to build a 27 foot yacht! Five
years it took us to finally make it seaworthy. Ironically, when the time came to reap the benefits and eventually sail in her, I decided to go on my travels! However, I did have the opportunity to sail in ‘Megan’ a few times in between travelling.
I am forever grateful to my parents who throughout my formative years kept me on an even keel and later on believed in me and persuaded me to follow my dreams. What more could I ask for?
What are you reading at the moment?
I am reading ‘Precious Metal’ by Michelle Flatley, part of the Modern Dreams collection from Salt Publishers
Do you have any advice for new writers?
Yes. If you really want to write, then just do it! Just remember, patience is a virtue.