ABOUT ME

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I was born, and grew up, in Romford, Essex, and now live near Chelmsford with my husband of very many years ... we've actually been together since we were seventeen. We 're also part-time residents in a lovely part of Torquay, South Devon. We have three married daughters and six beautiful grandchildren - who are fast growing up!

 

Before my retirement, I spent most of my working life as a medical secretary, fitting in my writing during evenings and weekends. But now I'm retired, I have the freedom to write full time or part time depending on other plans and commitments. When I'm not working on my writing, I spend time with family and friends, and enjoy travel, reading, photography, walking and swimming.

 

 

I'm a member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists' Association. It's through the RNA that I've made lots of lovely writing friends, especially in my local Essex chapter.

Beginnings

I always wanted to be a writer. English - especially 'composition' - was my best subject at school, making up for all the subjects I was rubbish at!  So writing stories was a hobby as far back as I can remember. As a teenager I scribbled lurid tales about teenage romance in sixpenny notebooks for my classmates, and then wrote a lot of poetry, most of which fortunately never saw the light of day.

After my daughters were born, I wrote little children's stories for them, and my first paid publication was a short story for The Brownie magazine. This was followed by several more, including serials, and then stories for Today's Guide magazine.  Then in the 1990s I entered and won two first prizes in short story competitions in Writers' News (now incorporated in Writing Magazine) and to my amazement and delight, I was awarded their Winner of Winners. This was the point when I decided to take myself more seriously as a writer. I began submitting stories to women's magazines and over the next decade or so, was lucky enough to have over 100 of them published.

Becoming a novelist

During all this time, the real dream was to write a novel, but it wasn't until 2003 that I finally achieved my ambition, with the publication of   ''The Trouble with Ally' - a romantic comedy about an older woman. This was followed by seven more books with the same publisher, three of them written under the pseudonym of Olivia Ryan.

Over the years, my writing career has taken several different turns. I've changed publishers twice, and have also self-published some of my books  with Amazon, including the earliest books in which I got back the rights, and some other stories written specifically for self-publishing. . One of these, 'Yesterday' (a story set during the troubles between the Mods and the Rockers in the 1960s) was awarded the Guardian Legend Times Self Published Novel of the Month, for November 2014.  

In 2015 I was commissioned by Ebury Publishing to write a story narrated by a cat! 'Oliver the Cat Who Saved Christmas' was followed by a sequel about Charlie, the Kitten Who Saved a Life.  Following this, I wrote several books which, despite as always focusing on human relationships, also featured pets or pet-related settings.

Since then my books have always included a cat or dog or two, even if only as minor characters!

My most recent books are all set in fictional locations in Devon.