BEFORE THE BOOKS
I have always wanted to write. When I left school (in East London) with a fistful of 'O' levels including good English grades, I wrote to every London publisher. The only response was from the London Weekly Advertiser, who offered me a job in their Accounts Department. Oh, well. It was a job. And, as I used to have to record the money coming in for the Personal Ads, it was a bit of an introduction to life's quirkier side...
After a spell as a secretary at I.P.C. in Fleet Street (which also didn't lead anywhere), I was offered a job in the recruitment agency that had given up trying to find me a publishing opportunity. As a secretary, I had always had plenty of free time and had written endless romances: typed on the office typewriter. These were published in picture-story magazines such as Romeo, Marilyn, and Mirabelle, with one story paying more than a week's salary. But it never occurred to me to "give up the day job" and "go for it". If I had … but that's another story. I did well in the world of recruitment and ended up with my own business which I sold to my partner in 2000.
This gave me time for three things:
To spend more time with my son, Ben, who was born with a rare syndrome (VATER syndrome) affecting his swallowing, skeleton, eating and growth. As he was later diagnosed with a hearing loss and, later still, autism, his needs were growing as he grew older rather than diminishing.
To complete an O.U. degree in English literature, which gave me a lot of confidence. The graduation ceremony when I collected the certificate confirming that I had a B.A.Hons in Literature was confirmation that I could achieve what I set out to do. An achievement which I had envisaged for my son, but...
Feel free to contact me with questions or comments, but please don't ask me
to read your MS!