About Me

I grew up in sixties Salford, weaned on Hobson's Choice, Love on the Dole and Shelagh Delaney. Then I discovered Joyce, Eliot, romanticism and Hardy, conceived aspirations and went off to Nottingham to study English Literature. Eager to share what I'd learnt, and pretty keen to earn some money, I did a PGCE at Manchester University and went back to school.  After a few years teaching in Leeds, we came up to the north-east in 1988 and put down roots.  I worked in secondary schools for thirty years - the first twenty as a full-time teacher of English;  then ten years as a part-time school librarian.  At fifty-five, whilst studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University, I finally started writing my first novel, Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree, published in 2014.

Here's a link to my Amazon Author page.

Spirit of Place is very important to me, and it was when I started volunteering at Gibside that I became possessed by the story of the Countess of Strathmore: it took two years of writing and research to produce My Name is Eleanor in 2016.  Immediately I had launched that book I started researching the follow-up, Molly Bowes.

I still volunteer at Gibside, in the 'inner pleasure grounds' - which always sounds rather suggestive - and in the Research Group.  There's another fascinating woman whose story is glittering on my mental horizon .... watch this space.




My first book is dedicated to Jane Nicholson (formerly Evans) who died in September 2013, just two months before publication.  It was because of Jane that I stopped talking about writing a novel and went ahead and did it: as she memorably said, 'JFDI!' She was a real redhead, a great and much-loved friend, and I miss her.

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