I’ve been a writer for over 15 years now, but it wasn’t planned!
I left school at age 16, and because I really didn’t know what else to do, I spent a year at secretarial college. I figured out there was always going to be a job going for a secretary.
However, apart from a short stint at the B.B.C. as possibly the worst secretary ever, I changed direction and started working at Harrods, London as a trainee buyer.
A couple of years later I discovered the cut and thrust of retailing really wasn’t for me. I took on various other jobs, including working as a dental nurse (which incidentally didn’t cure my fear of dentists!) and as a production assistant in a reprographic and printing company.
I began to write after joining a creative writing class. I had no success with article writing, or short stories, or fiction, but the first children’s story I wrote, for a magazine called Twinkle, was accepted for publication. Hooray!!!
Things snowballed and a lot (yes lots and lots) of hard work later I now write full time and have over 50 books published. I still go to the same writing class and we have become a big happy family of writers!
For me, writing is the best job ever. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. I love to create worlds for young children to enjoy and escape into – whether the stories are educational, bedtime, problem solving or just plain good fun. It’s also very exciting to see the first picture roughs, as my wonderful, talented illustrators bring the text to life.
I live on the Essex coast in a lovely two-bed-roomed flat (we’ve just moved up from a lovely one-bed flat – hooray lots more space!), which I share with my husband, Michael. At long last I have an office to write in, with room for all my books and bits of scribbled on papers – though at the moment the room is taken over with lots of unpacked boxes etc etc. Need some shelving asap!
The seafront is (still) just around the corner, and I find a bracing walk (it gets freezing when the East wind blows from the North Sea!) or gentle stroll when the weather is warmer, is great for clearing my head and mulling over story ideas.
In my spare time I love walking along the sea path and eating out at our favourite beach-side cafe. I also enjoy shopping for clothes (I am very girly but not everything is pink!) and catching up with my friends.
If I could be anywhere in the world I would be with Michael on a beautiful sandy beach near St Ives, in Cornwall. We’d be eating a Kelly’s Cornish Ice cream (32 flavours to choose from, and I haven’t tried them all – yet!!) and cooling our toes in the Atlantic surf. Cream teas and Cornish pasties would probably feature too! Heaven!
Anyway – that’s enough of my day-dreaming. Back to work……..!
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