I grew up in a house full of books. Bookshelves tumbled with old copies of Beatrix Potter, Aesop’s Fables, whole collections of Kipling and LM Montgomery, The Secret Garden, The Wind in the Willows and everything else- often bound together with old sticky tape, having been read and loved a thousand times before they reached me. There were navy blue and deep red leather bound classics in the formal rooms of the house, their spines inlaid with delicate gold ink. It was a privilege to be able to handle the fine paper that contained thousands of words- and stories, always wonderful stories.
I have written since I could pick up a pen; first, in a series of odd little journals, made of folded paper stapled together carefully at the spine. I used to draw characters in bright texta pen or soft Derwent pencils. I always loved the feel of putting a pen or pencil to paper.
This led to further writing, several novels that are for my eyes only, and poems written when I was studying at university, all of which I threw out, horrified that someone might find them and read them if something were to happen to me. I was furiously passionate about classical music as a teenager, so went to the conservatorium and studied the piano. I did an Arts degree majoring in English literature and Modern European history. It was when I was at university that I knew I wanted to write, properly. Our entire English class was sent to spend the week at a local writer’s festival by a wonderful lecturer, and that was it, for me.
I have a passion for travel- particularly to Europe; I am fascinated by its history. I think history adds depth to life. Every time I go away I come back with a new idea for a book. If something resonates with me, it might be an idea, or a person, or an event, then I find it impossible not to write about it and I end up weaving it, along with several other strands, into a story.
I write every day. It’s just something I have to do. I’m afraid that I’m probably terribly grumpy if I can’t write.