_Born in London, I moved to Devon in 1994 (long story) then Leeds in August 2009. I divorced my fourth husband in 2005 and have been on my own ever since. I HATE it, but what can you do? My body's in its late fifties but my mind doesn't understand that, it still wants to find love.
At the age of thirty five, I’d done no writing since leaving school, apart from the odd letter (this was before the advent of emails!). It was my third husband, Gareth, who encouraged me to start a Writing School correspondence course.
For one of the tasks I had to write an article. I wrote about the glass catfish shown in the photo. The tutor said it was good, so I sent it off and it was accepted by Aquarist and Pondkeeper. They bought the next one I sent them too, and the next. Soon I was writing for several UK magazines as well as Aquarium Fish (USA) and South African Fishkeeping.
Gareth also persuaded me to study for a degree. With his support, I signed up to the Open University, gaining a B.Sc in biology and Psychology. Sadly, Gareth died in 1997 at the age of 46. When that happened, I didn’t want to write about, or even keep, tropical fish anymore, so I ran down my tanks and began to switch over to fiction.
Since then I have sold hundreds of stories to various magazines including My Weekly, Take a Break, Woman’s Weekly, Yours, Woman, Best, Chat, Fiction Feast, The Weekly News and mostly recently, The People’s Friend.
Short Story Success
In 2008 I was given a column in Writers Forum, a great magazine for writers of all levels. The column was called SHORT STORY SUCCESS and ran until December 2012.
The photo was taken in 2009 when I went on the Weakest Link ( I won. It was a GREAT day).
_ SWANWICK and the future
People say there’s a magic about Swanwick and I’m not going to argue with that. I first went there in 2011 and can see myself returning again and again. They asked me to run a workshop on fillers – they’re those tiny pieces of writing, often with photos, that appear in most magazines including tips, readers’ letters, anecdotes, nostalgia, jokes and so on.
The workshop was so well received I was asked to teach the short story course in 2012. |I will be back this year, teaching a short course on writigng stories with twist endings.
These days I write all kinds of different things – non–fiction books, fillers and short stories. I’ve also started another novel (I don’t talk about the first one THE MAGIC OF FISHKEEPING but it’s for sale on Amazon if you want to take a look). I have recently rediscovered the joy of writing. I also like nothing better than to help other writers improve their craft. When people get published thanks to my feedback or after they’ve been to one of my classes, I get the most amazing feeling of satisfaction. I always wanted to be a teacher and at last, that ambition has come true.