I was born in Wallingford in Berkshire, a stone’s throw away from the Thames.
It was a peaceful sort of childhood but I definitely remember being awake for some of it. We lived over our antique shop which was a bit like inhabiting the set of a play because the scenery kept changing all the time. Quite a few objects from the shop have found their way into stories. I wrote my first ‘book’ when I was seven, on the office typewriter downstairs.
My father had been a soldier in North Africa and Italy in World War Two. His enthusiasm for going back there took us travelling every year in a caravan, where we had all sorts of adventures, most of them not life threatening. I remember my Dad teaching me arithmetic under a palm tree on the edge of the Sahara desert.
All those long journeys have given me lifelong wanderlust. The lack of any siblings provided lots of time for reading and dreaming, writing stories… Which continued through seven years of boarding school - a great place to need to escape from - to Oxford University, which almost terrified me out of writing altogether, since I studied English Literature.
After training unenthusiastically as a journalist I found a job was with a charity in Birmingham. Soon after, I got married and we had our four gorgeous babies who are now much bigger than this but still smiling heroically!
I joined various writer’s workshops in Birmingham, especially Tindal Street Fiction Group, from which has grown the very successful independent publisher Tindal Street Press. These are two of their anthologies - Her Majesty and Going the Distance - in which I have stories.
We met every fortnight for a workshop on someone’s writing. In 1991 I won a competition sponsored by SHE magazine and Granada TV’s ‘This Morning,’ making me a very early Richard and Judy author! After that agencies approached me and I have been working ever since with my wonderful agent Darley Anderson.
Click on the Books section to find out more about them!