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I was born with a fascination for words and can remember, as a very young child, being desperate to create some order out of my newly learned alphabet. As soon as I could read I always had my head in a book, and by the time I was fourteen I had written my first romantic novel. A year later, with my head still full of romance, I was aboard an overnight train on a school trip to Spain and was thrilled to find myself sitting next to the most handsome boy in the school. He, on the other hand, was far too preoccupied with the much more mature seventeen year-old on his other side even to speak to me. That was the first night I ever spent with my Prince Charming – and he didn’t notice I was there! Years later, though, that was all to change…
After leaving school I became a legal secretary, and for a while entertained hopes of becoming a librarian. To be surrounded by books all day seemed like my idea of heaven, but even more than that, I wanted to write my own. That second novel that I was never quite able to finish was side-lined for poetry and song lyrics, even though I kept promising myself that one day I really would finish another book. Somehow I kept fooling myself that there was always tomorrow. I hadn’t quite got to grips with the fact that if you wanted a dream to come true, you had to make it happen. It took redundancy, many years later, to give me the wake-up call I needed. From that moment I began to write seriously, and in 1985, after four rejections in as many years, Mills & Boon finally took my 'Rude Awakening'. Quite an apt title after the years I’d wasted waiting for my 'tomorrow'!
When I’m not writing, I love reading, gardening, researching family history and enjoying leisurely lunches with special friends. Writing is hard work, with long hours spent sitting at my desk, but living in the heart of England’s beautiful West Country makes it easy and pleasurable to balance this with healthy exercise. There’s nothing more enervating than slipping out of the house just after dawn, when only the birds and rabbits are up, and taking an energising walk or jog along the leafy lanes. Then it’s back for a healthy breakfast before I start my day’s work, often prepared by my long-standing and very supportive husband.
Remember the handsome boy from the train? He turned into an even more handsome man and was tall and dark as well! He eventually spoke to me when I was nineteen after I’d turned up at an Old Scholars’ reunion dance with my current date. Of course he waited until the young man I was with had gone off to the bar, and like all romance heroes played things very cool by telling me that he was a member of the Old Scholars’ Committee and was looking for new blood to join its ranks if I was interested. Of course I was interested – but not in joining the committee! Nine months later we were married, and the rest, as they say, is history!
Travelling ranks very highly among my pleasures and so many places I have visited have been recreated in my books. I strive to create powerful storylines with maximum emotion, set in a location in which one can really live and breathe whilst the story unfolds. Emotional intensity is of paramount importance in my stories. Times, places and trends change. Emotion is timeless.
Writing a book is a very solitary process, and consequently I am always delighted to hear from my readers. Pleaes feel free visit me at my website.
Random Harvest. Books I love: Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier, Clair De Lune by Pierre La Mure, The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy, The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans and Heidi by Johanna Spyri