Hmm… this is a biggie since I’ve been around for a few years (and have the wrinkles to prove it – though my daughters insists they are laughter lines) and suddenly I have to sum up my life into a few paragraphs. Well, I’ll give it ago…
I was born in a council house, in a small town, in the beautiful countryside of Suffolk in the UK. My main life’s ambition was to work with horses and become a vet – playing with my Barbies (and putting them into every scenario I could think of) was a simple time filler. I loved animals with a passion (and still do). However, God had other plans. “Nope, you are not going to do that,” he said, and just to make sure, he made it impossible for me to get close to any fluffy animal without: suffering a severe asthma attack; making my eyes swell to the point I couldn’t see out of them and magic a rash on my body just for added precaution. My allergy to fluffy animals devastated me. I was even allergic to people who owned a fluffy animal. Goodbye vet dream.
The next pivotal point in my life was when I decided to become an ‘Arthur’ (I was eight-years-old and not yet familiar with the correct term of someone who writes a book). Since I loved horror movies with a passion (especially Hammer House of Horrors) and inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia (or rather just two of them – The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Prince Caspian, since we couldn’t afford the entire collection) I grabbed an old exercise book and started writing 40 pages about a giant octopus… but then I ran out of steam. At that point, I decided to become an illustrator instead.
Later on, I attended Lowestoft College to study Art and Design – still undecided about what it is I really wanted to do, but I knew I could draw so decided to go for it and eventually gained a National Diploma in Art and Design. Suffering a lack of confidence I was unsure of what to do next – after all, I wasn’t clever enough to attend University. Thank goodness I met my husband in my early twenties. Having three children (in a year-and-a-half) gave me a life purpose. I became a full-time ‘Mummy’ and loved every minute of it – despite it being full-on, constant and pretty exhausting at times.
Then in January 2000, I had a dream of a person showing me a book and reading me the story. I loved it. I was shown every page and every picture. When I woke up I knew I had to write that story and copy those pictures. A Wish for Marcus was my first book ,but it didn’t get published for 15 years.
Each picture took a week to complete, as I’d only work on them in the evenings when my children went to bed. Six months later, the book was complete. This gave me the confidence to write more and more… besides, I couldn’t have stopped if I wanted to.
As a result of writing, I’ve had a some adventures (but not as many as Connor Clover) I’d been a guest on Norfolk Radio twice, been invited to a local school ceremony to open their new ICT suite (along with our local MP at the time – Charles Clarke), had two book signings, did author visits at various schools in Norfolk and had a few mentions in local newspapers.
Then when we were struggling for money… I trained to become a teacher (and realised I was clever enough to gain a degree) and left my dream behind for a few years. Last year (in 2015) it ignited once again and I’m loving it.