Having so far written short stories and radio scripts, I’m really still experimenting with my own form and am now starting my first novel – details to follow. I enjoy reading across genres, including detective stories, classic and contemporary literature and women’s fiction. Recently I’ve been inspired by Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – two very different novels but each drawing me into their own worlds. I hope to always look forward to a new novel by Ian Rankin, taking me into the dark but strangely comforting world of Rebus, and am currently catching up on The Big Sleep, although I’m finding it hard to keep The Singing Detective out of my mind as I read Raymond Chandler’s distinctive prose !
I’m constantly seeking change in my life. Sometimes, when I actually take time out to reflect, I think maybe there’s a little too much change going on. But such a way of living means I’m always learning, which can only be a good thing, right? My nosiness (or ‘observation skills’, as I prefer to call it) helps me soak up material to feed into characters. The short story The End of Summer was inspired from watching my French neighbours go about their daily lives, and other characters I’ve met along the way, from musicians to winemakers, are waiting in the wings.
How did I get here?
After living in Gloucestershire for some years, a new life beckoned in 2009 when I bought an old winemaker’s house with my husband. It was in a small, sleepy village in the South of France, surrounded by vineyards. Soon after starting the improvements we discovered the house was much more decrepit than we’d thought (thanks Madame Paulignan!) and there was just too much work to do from a distance. So we decided to move there and have an adventure. And an adventure it certainly was – renovating the house, training and teaching English as a second language, trying to learn the saxophone, working in a French accountant’s office, grape-picking, and all the while trying to improve my French and get to grips with the fascinating bureaucracy. What fun!
When I’d settled into teaching, a new learning opportunity was needed – so I started an English degree with The Open University, which included modules in creative writing. The bug was caught. Now back in the UK, completing my studies for an MA in writing at Falmouth University, alongside my ‘day’ job of management consulting.