I was born in Gloucestershire, England and later moved to London where I grew up surrounded by books, paintings and antiques. My Scottish father was an artist and playwright, my Australian mother was a teacher, and my elder sister was a successful author first published at age 16. The classic Victorian author Mrs Elizabeth Gaskell was a great, great, great aunt, we were a bookish family. When birthdays came around, no one was asked what they wanted. As a child I never owned a bike or scooter, the question was simply, “Which book do you want this year?” My most treasured possessions are still my books; literary, illustrated (I adore Rackham and Dulac illustrations), fiction and non-fiction, I love them all. So perhaps writing was in my genes.
I travelled a great deal as a child and young adult, to India, the Middle East, Scandinavia and Australia, but always returned to England. Starting in my teens, I worked in many literary capacities as a publishers’ reader, a television researcher and script writer, an editor, literary critic and published numerous short stories and articles. For a few years I worked as a tutor to other script writers, and met some great friends . Then motherhood took precedence. Having three young daughters, two of whom were identical twins, writing had to take a back seat.
Instead I busied myself with the delights of research.
"A teenage crush on the actor Kirk Douglas sent me scurrying to research the Viking Age."
I met Kirk Douglas personally a couple of times afterwards, and my interest increased. At the age of 14 I became the youngest member of the British Museum Library and studied with their senior professor and archaeologist, an expert on the Vikings.
I used to sit on the floor of his book lined study at the back of the museum, gazing at the piles of relevant books which he set down on the floor beside me each Saturday morning. I absorbed an enormous amount of information which I shall never forget. The experience was enlightening. After some months this delightful historian informed me that the visits would have to stop as he was travelling to Norway to join a major archaeological dig. I have always regretted that, but remember the ancient gentleman with considerable gratitude.
I later conducted my own research into the late medieval period. This time my inspiration was Shakespeare, and the old cobbled alleys and candlelit windows crept into my dreams. I was fascinated by the everyday existence of the ordinary people, how they lived and how they thought.
This led me to a burgeoning respect for the figure of Richard
III, and my researches led me deeper into a strong belief that his black reputation is a fallacy, and even somewhat ridiculous.
Now I am a member of the Richard lll Society, and relish the opportunity to discuss such matters with those who seriously study the subject, and were the planners and instigators of the recent discovery of Richard III’s burial place and remains.
I left England once my children were grown, and spent many years on a yacht, sailing the Mediterranean and living in half a dozen different European countries. This was a highly romantic and illuminating experience, which taught me a great deal, including other languages which increased my adoration for the written word. Throughout the marinas, bays and coastlines of Mediterranean Europe, I learned the joy of total peace and happiness.
"I can guarantee that sailing into the sunset is just as marvellous as the films would have us believe."
When my beloved Italian partner died of cancer, I decided I would miss him too much to continue the same lifestyle.
Instead I moved to Australia where I now live in a semi-rural area of exceptional beauty, watching the amazing birds and wildlife, while writing full length novels.
My passion is for late English medieval history and this forms the background for my historical fiction. I also have a love of fantasy and the wild freedom of the imagination, with its haunting threads of sadness and evil. Although all my books have romantic undertones, I would not class them purely as romances. Although we all wish to enjoy some romance in our lives, there is also a yearning for adventure, mystery, suspense and experience. My books include all of this and more, but my greatest loves are the beauty of the written word, and the utter fascination of good characterisation. Bringing my characters to life and taking the reader with me, is my principal aim.
I am now self publishing my books, as I found that traditional publishing is not what it used to be. I now have total contol over content, covers and titles. With advice from my lovely agent Sheila Drummond, we have hopefully everything covered.
This 'Coat of Arm's' was designed for me by a friend. I love the Dragons...
For a deeper look into the things that inspire me and bring me happiness, click below...
My Favourite Things
My Special Interests
In the medieval era which serves as the background to so many of my novels, materials and trimmings were of enormous importance. The nobility and wealthy families dressed with considerable grandeur in order to display status and power.
Which brings me to my friend Florence Dove, a wonderfully kind soul who has helped me enormously over the years, Which I so greatly appreciate. Her website and business of trimmings, ribbons, cord and bindings is beautiful. Anyone looking to buy trimmings could do no better than visit - http://www.doveoriginaltrims.com/