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I was born in Nottinghamshire, but my family moved to West Yorkshire when I was just 18 months old and I've always considered it home. I was the middle child in a family of five girls in a household where books were seen as vitally important. I grew up reading anything I could get my hands on.
Even before I could write I was making up stories. At the age of four I was telling the tale of The Three Little Raindrops – Drippy, Droppy, and Droopy – to my two younger sisters. I can't remember a time when I wasn't scribbling away at something, and wrote my first ‘book’ when I was 11.
I was always told that I would never make a living as a writer, and that I should work toward a more secure career. I decided that if I couldn't write books, at least I could work with them and I went on to become a librarian. I left school and went to the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth to study English and librarianship, where I met my husband, who was also studying there at the time. After we married we settled in Lincolnshire, where I worked as a children's librarian until my son was born.
After three years of being a full-time housewife and mother I was ready for a new challenge, but needed something I could do at home, so I turned to my old love of writing. My first attempts at writing novels were done at the kitchen table, often working late into the night when my son was asleep, or during a few snatched hours while he was out at nursery school.
On my third attempt at submitting to Mills and Boon, my manuscript was accepted and I can still remember the moment that a letter from a Senior Editor arrived instead of the rejection slip I had been dreading. I must have read that letter a hundred times before what it said sank in, and for days I kept checking it just to make sure I hadn't been dreaming. It wasn’t until copies of my first book The Chalk Line arrived just in time for Christmas, that I really realised I was a published writer. It still remains one of my best Christmas presents ever.
Fitting in hobbies around writing and being a wife and mother can be difficult, but I always find time to read. I love all sorts of fiction, especially romance, of course, but I also enjoy historical novels, detective fiction, long, absorbing biographies and I can spend hours in bookshops, just browsing.
During my working hours, my two Maine Coon cats keep me company in my study, though they have to be dissuaded from sitting on the piles of papers that they are convinced are there just for their benefit.
Sometimes, when the right words won't come or an idea hasn't worked out as I thought, I wonder why I don't have a regular nine-to-five job – but only sometimes. When the story's flowing and the characters come alive, I really can't imagine doing anything else. And there's a tremendous satisfaction in knowing that I’m doing what I always dreamed of and proving wrong all those people who said I would never make a successful career out of my writing.
I love to hear from my fans and if you’d like to get in touch, you can contact me via my website of on my Facebook page.
Children of a Lesser God and When Harry met Sally