And a huge thanks for being here and (maybe) reading my book(s). A true honour.
So, let’s see. A bit about me as an author. Well, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always written fiction. And talked. Boy can I talk.
Aged 5, I re-wrote Thumbelina (with paint & scribbles); at 14, won a competition for a book jacket and blurb design judged by Quentin Blake; at 27, was long-listed for a BBC Talent script for Casualty; and at 34, was short-listed for a Guardian travel writing competition.
In February 2013, I was awarded third place in the Wotton-Under-Edge Arts and Literature Festival Short Story Competition.
In between, I gained a BA (Hons) in International Business Studies and Spanish (get me), spending a year in Spain and studying at the acclaimed University of Salamanca – the same city where my protagonist of The Spider in the Corner of the Room and the Project trilogy, Dr Maria Martinez, hails from.
I’ve written for the Gloucestershire Gazette, commenting on politics and society issues, and have been a columnist for the Citizen and Echo newspapers and Weekend magazine, commenting on popular culture.
Previously, I’ve been a Marketing Manager, Head of Copywriting for an advertising agency, plus a Teaching Fellow at the University of Bristol.
These days I still teach, except now its more creative writing led, including courses on How to Get Published, chairing events at Literary Festivals and even running the social media feed for my lovely local Nailsworth Arts Festival. It’s great and I get to meet and work with some truly amazing, dedicated and fun people.
Originally a Dublin (Irish) gal, I now live in Gloucestershire (UK) with my beautiful little family. Ooo, and I like Guinness (naturally…)
PS There’s a secret quiz on this website. Have you found it yet..?
EXTRA DATA: Me answering some FAQs…
Q. How do you deal with writer’s block?
A. I go for a run. I am an exercise junkie: swimming, surfing, cycling, skiing, triathlons. You name it. Going for a quick run clears my head a treat. And, of course, helps me eat more chocolate.
Q. What’s the best thing about being a writer?
A. Best: being your own boss; calling the shots on the hours you work. Worst: can be a bit solitary when immersed in novel writing. But chocolate always helps 😉
Q. What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
A. Read everything. Every genre you can get your hands on. And learn the craft. You don’t have to spend a fortune on courses etc.
The best fiver ever spent was when my husband bought me a book called Writing a Novel. It’s in the Teach Yourself series and was just awesome in learning the step by step details of the craft.
After that: practice. Write as much as you can, enter everything. You may not win – I didn’t always – but who cares? You’re writing, that’s what counts. Put the hours in and see what happens. And good luck 🙂
Q. How do you get inspired to write?
A. I get inspired by pretty much everything, really. Life, I guess. Just opening my eyes, looking around. The trickle of a droplet on a window pane; the soap bubbles in the washing up bowl. I’m big on the benefits of daydreaming. Welcome to my odd life!
Q. Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
A. The idea came from a newspaper article about a man in a super max prison in the USA. Interesting fact: The protagonist of The Spider in the Corner of the Room began as a man. But several chapters in, something wasn’t right. I switched it to a female lead and bang: it worked. Step forward Dr Maria Martinez.