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I was born into an army family and most of my childhood was spent moving from place to place, school to school, including periods of living abroad in Egypt and Germany. Some schools I loved and some I hated, so it wasn’t too surprising that I left half way through the sixth form with A levels unfinished.
I became a secretary, as all good girls did at the time, and realised almost immediately that the role of handmaiden simply wasn’t for me. Escape beckoned when I landed a job with an airline. I was determined to see as much of the rest of the world as possible and working as cabin crew I met some interesting people and enjoyed some great experiences – riding in the foothills of the Andes, walking by the shores of Lake Victoria, flying pilgrims from Kandahar to Mecca were just a few.
I still love to travel and visit new places, especially those with an interesting history, but the arrival of marriage and children meant a more settled existence on the south coast where I’ve lived ever since. It also gave me the opportunity to go back to ‘school’ and eventually gain a PhD from the University of Sussex. For many years I taught university literature and loved every minute of it. What could be better than spending my life reading and talking about books? Well, perhaps writing them.
I’ve always had a desire to write but there never seemed time to do more than dabble with the occasional short story. And my day job ensured that I never lost the critical voice in my head telling me that I really shouldn’t bother. But gradually the voice started growing fainter and at the same time the idea that I might actually write a whole book began to take hold. My cats – two stunning cream and lilac shorthairs – gave their approval, since it meant my spending a good deal more time at home with them!
The 19th century is my special period of literature and I grew up reading Georgette Heyer, so when I finally plucked up the courage to try writing for myself, the novels had to be Regency romances. Recently, too, I've moved on a few years to Victorian England with Walking Through Glass which tells the story of a forgotten tragedy and the way echoes from the past can powerfully influence the life of a modern day heroine. Creating new worlds and sharing them with readers continues to give me huge pleasure – I can't think of a better job!