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When I was about twelve I wrote an 'illustrated' book about a dog, with some friends. We were so excited about it that we packed the whole thing up and sent it off to a publisher! I seem to remember we got a nice, encouraging letter back...
Several years and lots of scribbling later, I did actually have a children’s book accepted for publication. It was called Wide Awake Billy and was for six/seven year olds. After that there was a gap, during which I was working, having children, and getting involved in a drama group – so acting was where I got my kicks then. Writing took a bit of a back seat, but I couldn’t keep away from it for too long. I was working as a learning support teacher when I decided to try writing some fiction for that group of readers, dealing with issues that I thought would interest them, such as bullying, racism and teenage pregnancy. This led to a series of short stories, plays and even non-fiction, for a couple of different publishers.
Well I now thought that what I really wanted to do was write a novel (ha-ha). I knocked out a couple that I knew were not as good as they should be. I had some positive feedback from one or two agents, so my next step was to do an MA in creative writing. I completed this at Sheffield Hallam University, and Looking for Alex was the novel that I crafted while on that course. Doing the MA was fantastic, and the thing I most valued was getting feedback, not just from tutors but from other writers. Some of us formed our own small writers’ group, and met to discuss each others work.
It’s been a long journey but very enjoyable, and I’m determined to keep writing for as long as the ideas keep coming!