What genre do you write in?
I write general interest articles, short stories for women's magazines, flash fiction, ghost stories and children's stories. I'm currently writing a book for young teenage girls, and have a children's book to rewrite.
What was your first success?
Hugely encouraged by the Farnham Writers, I sent a short story to Woman's Weekly and it was accepted.
What things inspire you to write?
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Do you have a writing routine?
Who are your writing hero’s or heroines?
Which one of your characters would you least like to meet and why?
Probably the reporter in my children's book. By the time I've finished making him more villainous, even his mother wouldn't want to meet him. He doesn't like children and he bullies them, frightens them, and threatens them.
In what ways do you benefit from being part of the Tunbridge Wells and District Writers’ Circle? In what ways are you involved?
A session with other writers is always of enormous benefit. There's a strange alchemy about reading one's work aloud; it seems to put the reader in the position of listener, and makes you see your work through other people's eyes, so that even before comments are made, you can see awkward sentences, anomalies and, dare I say it, over egging with too many adjectives, background description etc.
I'm involved with the Circle as a committee member, and also as leader of the short story and features workshop, which is held in my house. We meet once a month, bring along our latest piece, and read aloud. I hope we remain detached, and that our comments are helpful. It's useful also, to occasionally work on exercises. A piece of dialogue maybe, or using all the senses, writing in the first person, points of view etc. This always heightens awareness of technique and flow.
Are you a member of any other writing groups?
Have you made a New Year’s Resolution?
I think I must rewrite my book for children. I've spent hard earned cash on getting it checked, and the general summation was that it was a good idea and original. I was told that the villains were not villainous enough, so I need to inject a bit more scary stuff. Then I'll send it off again. I've also almost finished a book for teenage girls, but get distracted by short story ideas.
Does anyone else in your family write?
What would be your ideal writing retreat?
I always used to write in a shed in the garden. When my husband Peter was alive, we were out walking one day, and I saw a summerhouse . I raved about it, and said I'd love one just like that to write in. The moment we got home, he looked at places in our garden to site one, bought the wood, laid the foundations, and built it. Peter was also a writer, so he understood the need for a designated writing place. I no longer use the shed for writing, but for quite a long time, my shed was my ideal retreat, where I left concerns over cooking and housework behind, and entered a different, imaginary world where I could lose myself in words.
What would you take with you?
Finish the following.
The figure stood at the end of the street waiting. The driving rain illuminated in the street lights seemed not to trouble the figure. Wind rattled the letter boxes belonging to the Victorian houses that lined the street. Half way down the row an upstairs light came on, a door slammed shut ………… and a woman stood for a moment, silhouetted against the light. For a split second, she hesitated then took off. The wind caught her hair, teasing and blowing tendrils into her eyes, and still she ran, high heels pounding through puddles, fury giving her speed.
"This has to stop," she shouted, but as always, by the time she reached the end of the street, he'd vanished.
Note: this has given me the idea for a ghost story, but I haven't finished it yet .