Writing is a passion, an addiction, something I have to do. When I’m not engaged in it, I feel less alive. Just as I feel less alive without love; and without the warmth and light of the sun. I’ve always been aware that for me both mood and creativity are enhanced by the sun – which is one reason I left damp, grey England for Granada in Spain nearly 20 years ago and why I’m still there despite the pull of my two children and five grandchildren in the UK.
The writing all started with a life-changing overland trip to Kathmandu in 1974. It was the first time I’d left Europe and it opened my eyes to the wider world, to places and people and ways of life utterly different to anything I knew. Inspired and wanting to share my experiences, I returned to Shropshire and wrote – almost entirely from memory because the only record I’d bothered to keep over 3 months was a list of places. The result, Kathmandu by Truck, was published by Roger Lascelles in 1976. Another addiction had been born, an addiction to travel. So the following year, this time with what amounted to a commission for a book, I set off again, with an old school-friend, on a journey across Russia on the Trans-Siberian railway. That was followed by a month in Japan and three months travelling around S.E. Asia. Trans-Siberia by Rail was published in 1979.
The arrival of two children put an end to that kind of travel – happily because being a mother brought its own joys – but it didn’t stop me writing; it just made me turn instead to writing novels. Working in the community and meeting people from all walks of life (see About page) taught me that everyone has stories to tell and that the most fascinating and unexpected are sometimes hidden behind a seemingly conventional exterior. Almost everyone has secrets – some that may never be revealed, others that are only revealed to a select few, but by their nature, secrets are always subject to discovery and may be catapulted into the open by a dramatic event.
It took six unpublished novels (one very nearly made it) and about 30 years to see one in print but I finally achieved it (with an e-version too). Secrets of the Pomegranate, set in Granada, came out in 2015. For links to buy it, see my Secrets of the Pomegranate page.
My next novel, The Red Gene, tells the story of three generations of women, starting with an English nurse who volunteers for Spain at the beginning of the Civil War in 1936. Set partly in Spain, partly in England, it covers some of the less savoury aspects of Spain’s recent history. For further detail, see my blog post: The Next Novel: a love story with a Civil War background. The Red Gene is due out in April 2019.
Secrets of the Pomegranate
Below is a link to an interview about my life as a writer on the website Layered Pages.