“Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time… The wait is simply too long”.
Leonard Bernstein (1918 – 1990)
I live by my beloved sea in Devon and have three adult children – a girl and two boys – and two small grandchildren. A restless soul, I have moved around a lot and spent many years in Guernsey after falling in love with the island. I managed to leave one son behind to give me a valid reason for frequent returns! Another son is in London which proves handy for City breaks. I’m now in Devon to be near my daughter and grandchildren and love the fact that I’m still by the sea. I was born in Rugby, right in the middle of the country and as far from the sea as you can get, so spent most of my adult life moving to coastal areas. Am particularly happiest in warmer climes, having lived in Spain for a few years. My ideal would be to spend part of the English winter somewhere warm, possibly Spain, so that I can recharge my body and soul.
By profession I was a psychotherapist but have long had creative ‘itches’, learning to mosaic, paint furniture, interior design and sculpt. Although I had often thought about being a writer, life had always seemed to get in the way. Bringing up three children on one’s own didn’t make it any easier! Then, a few years ago, I won a true-life story competition run by Prima magazine, which was featured in a two-page spread when published. A real boost to my writer’s ego!
About this time I ran out of excuses for not writing a novel and the story for Dangerous Waters came unbidden after reading Joanne Harris’s Coastliners, set on a small French island. It reminded me of Guernsey and I was drawn to write a novel that was both about love and loss – central to everyone’s lives – and family secrets going back many years. My experience as a psychotherapist helped me enormously, having spent many years helping people to deal with serious issues like the loss of loved ones. I’ve also had my own life experiences to draw on…! But I must stress that the novel is not based on anyone’s real story, it is fiction. At the time I didn’t appreciate how much work it would take to bring it up to a publishable standard so it’s not been a quick journey. But very worthwhile ☺
I have since published three more books – The Guernsey Novels – and am now writing the fifth, Echoes of Time, due out in 2016. Watch this space!