Years before my first memory of writing down a story at the age of eleven, hidden in the dappled shadows at the bottom of the garden between the tall rows of Raspberry canes, I would escape the searching cries of my sisters to imagine my very own world peopled by fairies whose houses were made of strawberry creams.
It has been a long road. I have stayed on strayed from, tried intermittently with little success to approach publishers on and off throughout the long adventure of my life so far. Writing is the easy part.
Ten years, my lotus eating years, in Hawaii followed by three in Hong Kong, five years in India the list goes on, and all the time I write. Among other things, a trilogy in the Children’s fiction category, short stories, romantic fiction, some of which have the potential to be developed into full length novels, material for a writing course by hand. I had no computer circa 1990, large dictionary at my side, well sharpened Steadler Mars pencils, ideas flowing too rapidly to stay within the lines.
My formal education was sparse; leaving school at fifteen to sail the world with my eccentric father, sea sick mother and the cat. I took my GCE at a school I had joined only three weeks before the examinations only because the engine broke down. I had no clue as to the curriculum.
These boys and girls from the local council estate could not possibly imagine my life from Elizabethan Manor complete with moat to boat. The girls wore stockings and whispered jokes I did not understand .My previous school had been a convent, we wore long sensibly knitted wool socks. Like Jonah setting to sea in what seemed permanently to be the worst gale force winds in ten years, now held up in Chatham Harbour awaiting repairs, I approached my young adulthood with trepidation.
I have lived in France since October 2000, I like to say that I arrived more or less with the Euro. In 2010 I revived my career in and around fashion and launched a line of printed cotton dresses inspired by the 60s, my epoch incidentally, and for me evocative of the timeless style the French call indemodables. I completed my first full length novel in 2012 but revising and re shaping the manuscript took longer than the original writing down of the story. Life, with its unfortunate habit of intervening made the process of seeking representation even longer still. I am at present two years on re- launching this process and circling above my second book regardless while preserving and editing some of my earlier work.
If I ever have the good fortune to become a published writer it would afford me the luxury of devoting more time to writing; my earliest passion and longest held ambition.
Getting around on a bike. Ventimigglia Italy 2013.