Well, I never set out to be an author or a writer of any description, although English was one of the subjects I enjoyed at school and I always loved reading. The first book I remember reading was Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Although I probably only chose that book because we shared the same surname at the time.

After leaving school I worked as a secretary for Wickman Machine Tools and British Leyland, teaching myself all the secretarial skills such as shorthand and typing which have come in really useful ever since.

When I first became interested in creative writing, I took a home study course which was a huge help and as soon as I had my very first piece of writing published in a magazine - a letter to the editor, which earned me the princely sum of £1.50, I was hooked!

As most writers will tell you, there's an awful lot of rejections before the successes come, but perseverance is the answer. These days I write full time on all kinds of things including magazine articles. Articles are great fun to do because you get to do such unusual things, and meet all kinds of interesting people. Often this gives you ideas for fictional stories too.

My first novel was published in 1995 and since then there have been another nine. I've just finished writing my latest book, called 'Celeste' which is a haunting mystery set partly in present day, and partly in the past. I've set it in my own home city, and had fun mingling fact and fiction to create a time slip story.

One of the nicest things about writing children's books is getting the opportunity to visit schools, meeting young readers and talking about books and writing. Also quite recently I've set up some writing courses for adults who are keen to write, and that's been a real pleasure passing on the knowledge and tips I've gained over the last 25 or so years of writing.

Another thing about me - I love all animals even boa constrictors!



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