About Me

In the back of my mind, I think I’ve always known that I would be a writer one day, having loved writing essays at school, letters to friends, answering exam questions, but that’s exactly where it stayed for many years – at the back of my mind.

After university, not wanting to practise Law – the subject of my first degree – I went to California, and lived there for six years, first in San Francisco and later in Los Angeles. While there, I met a wide variety of interesting people whom I felt would be great in a novel, but making new friends and having a brilliant time, going to fascinating places and doing a wide variety of jobs, was not conducive to settling down to write a novel, and my career as an author was still very much in the future.

On my return to England, I studied for an English degree and then started teaching at a secondary school. Not long after that, I met the man who became my husband.

Teaching a subject with a vast amount of preparation and marking, and with two lively sons a year apart in age, and a husband with a demanding job, meant that I couldn’t begin to think about writing a novel. Instead, I wrote voluminous letters. Looking back, I feel quite sorry for my friends, receiving my lengthy tomes in the middle of their busy days. And it was one of those long-suffering friends who suggested that instead of writing letters, I should write a novel. And that’s what I did!

With Carol McGrath in the Mani, in Southern Greece, working over lunch.

As I’ve learnt over the years that I’ve been writing novels, while writing is a solitary activity, it isn’t a lonely one! The writing community is the warmest, friendliest of communities, and one of my greatest pleasures is having a writerly lunch with author friends, sometimes in England, and sometimes on a writers’ retreat abroad.

Unsurprisingly, my novels reflect my interests. I love travel and many of my novels are inspired by places I’ve visited. I’ve travelled extensively in Europe, particularly in France and Italy, and in the US. And in recent years, I’ve visited Australia, Canada, India and Vietnam.

Sunrise over the Backwaters, Kerala, India.

A tea plantation in India.

I really enjoy going to the theatre and cinema, and doing cryptic crosswords. And I’m an avid reader. I always have been since I discovered the novels of Noel Streatfield and Enid Blyton, to name just two of the authors who inspired my love of books. My all-time favourite author is Jane Austen.

I regularly give talks to WI groups, the U3A and to book groups, and I’ve also delivered talks and workshops at conferences and literary festivals. I have been interviewed several times by BBC Radio Oxford and have appeared on BBC TV Oxford.



Appearing on BBC Oxford television.

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