I grew up with books, though I never bought one as a child, there just wasn’t the spare cash. My mother read all the time and some of my earliest memories are going with her to our local library, a Victorian edifice where the oak panelling, the Reading Room, and the deathly hush were guaranteed to strike wonder into a visitor of any age. I remember being so proud at age seven to be given my own library cards, so she no longer had to borrow books for me.
Writing fiction came to me fairly late in life. I’d always written as part of my job and had a number of guides on community engagement published over the years. Then I retired early and joined a writers group. I concentrated in the beginning on short stories then, from one of these, my first novel emerged. What I never really expected was that the editing, proofreading and publication process would take almost as long as writing the initial draft. This first novel A Shadowed Livery was published in 2015 by Grey Cells Press and republished in August 2019 by Sapere Books. It is a crime/mystery set in Warwickshire, England, in the months before the First World War.
In 2016 three of my short stories were included in a collection, Wild Atlantic Words, fifteen tales drawing from life along the west coast of Ireland.
When I’m not writing, I enjoy gardening, playing and listening to music, genealogy and, of course, reading crime fiction.
I now live in Shropshire in the cradle of the industrial revolution.
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Why Am I Writing?
Several years ago I attended a writing workshop and received the best piece of advice ever. We were told to write just 100 words a day. To sit down at whatever time suited us (mine’s usually about 6.30am) and to begin writing. Some days it would be little more than a ‘to-do’ list, others it would be a short story but, as Mao is reported to have said, every journey starts with a single step. Now I’ve written four novels – three ‘golden age’ crime novels and a family saga – so we never know where these steps will lead us.