Born in Essex to a Welsh mother and an English father, I’ve spent all but nine years of my life living in Australia. Yet, for some reason, I’ve never been sure quite where I belong. This isn’t surprising. I’ve always been indecisive. Nevertheless, it does strike me as ungrateful. I should be able to put my hand to my heart and say:
I can’t – and, as I’ve worked hard to eliminate ‘shoulds’ from my cognitions, this has lead to tedious explanations.
In the end, I’ve settled for hanner Cymraes.
That’s right – half Welsh woman.
I’ve always been a daydreamer and, ever since I got lost on a lonely moor with the Famous Five, I’ve dreamed of writing a novel. Dreams are scary, however, and a lot less tangible than love and marriage. I studied history as an undergraduate, got married in my teens, fell pregnant within a heart beat of the ceremony (note the order) and spent the next ten years wiping noses and bottoms. Once my youngest child started school, I trained as a librarian.
But the dream never faded.
It rolled down the years gathering momentum until, one day, I decided scary was a far worse prospect than not knowing.
It was time to give this writing thing a go.
Write what you know! That’s the first thing they tell beginner writers. What? You’ve got to be joking? Noses and bottoms! As a history graduate and reader of historical fiction, I knew my stories would rise from the pages of history. I was right. The past is my true country. Whenever I sit down to write, I let the words carry me home.
In the present, I live with my husband Andrew (minus our four adult children) in a renovated timber cottage in Melbourne’s multicultural inner north. I like red shoes, coffee, dark chocolate, commuter cycling, and reading quirky, character-driven novels set once-upon-a-time, in lands far away. These days, despite my early identity issues, I have no hesitation in calling myself a Melbourne girl.