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Hello and thank you for visiting my website.
My novels are set in and around South London, an area my family moved to when I was two years old. We were a working class family with my parents employed full time in local factories, and I was a latchkey kid. Our playgrounds were the streets on Lavender Hill in Battersea, within walking distance to Clapham Common. We also took longer treks to Battersea Park, where there were a myriad of things to excite children.
My vivid imagination as a child is a family joke and it seems I would amuse them with horrific tales, but it wasn’t until I attended Tennyson Street secondary school that my English teacher saw something in my essays. He told me that my punctuation needed work, but if I stuck at it I could become a writer. This wasn’t to happen until I started my first novel in the year 2000.
My working life was varied, and my first job in the offices of Arding & Hobbs, a department store at Clapham Junction. I’m afraid nothing could hold me for long and I changed jobs every year or so, becoming a jack of all trades and a master of none, though I now appreciate that I learned to type!
In 1966 I married and had two children, my daughter Samantha and son Michael. The marriage ended in divorce, and after being a single mum for many years, I met Jim, a wonderful man, and we have now been married for over thirty years. In 1987 we moved from London to Surrey and by then my lovely daughter had married, giving me a gorgeous grandson, Andrew.
A catalyst happened in 1998 when my son died, and my life never the same again. For a while, with the help of others who had lost a loved one to suicide, we formed a bereavement group, which I chaired for two years. I then had to have major surgery, after which I felt burned out and knew it was time to leave the group.
It was a friend who introduced me to writng and so began another twist and turn in my life. A few of us, fellow writers, would meet up at my house in Surrey each week where I began to learn the craft. And yes, my punctuation still needed work! I found writing cathartic, a way of distracting my grief as I buried myself in the lives of my characters. When my first novel, ‘A Cuckoo in Candle Lane,’ was complete, it is these friends and fellow writers who encouraged me to send it to some literary agents. I sent a synopsis and the first few chapters to five, never expecting to receive anything other than rejection slips. To my amazement, one of these agents, Judith Murdoch, asked to see the full manuscript, then going on to secure my first contract with a publishing house.
In 2004, my husband and I moved to Spain, and I was thrilled when my daughter joined us two years later. I continue to find writing cathartic, but also a joy, each novel bringing new characters, new emotions and new experiences to explore. My latest contracts are with Avon/Harper Collins and I was thrilled when ‘Nobody’s Girl’ became a best seller. Avon have since published ‘Sins of the Father’ and ‘Family Betrayal’, following these with my next four novels.
I do hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them, and once again thank you for visiting my website.