WELCOME TO MY WEBSITE
I was born in Salisbury, England, and when I was five my parents shifted to New Zealand. We lived in Auckland where I attended Auckland Teachers' College and trained as a primary teacher. After a few years teaching I studied for an MA in English at Auckland University. I then returned to England where I taght English in a secondary school until I retired. I now live at Clarks Beach where I am able in this tranquil setting to concentrate on writing
So why did I take up novel writing?
In 2010 our family home in Nelson had just been sold and I wanted to preserve its memory, but in an imaginative way, so I wrote Where the Bellbird Sings and followed this up the next year with No White Flowers, Please This was based on my mother's life and set partly in NZ partly in England during the 1920s. Because it seemed to call for a sequel I wrote When this War is Over, set in wartime Britain. All of these books were family sagas where I drew heavily on my own background.
FIRST NAMES ONLY is about a group of unmarried mothers in the 1960s living in a home in Auckland while awaiting the birth of their babies which will be adopted out as soon as they are born. It is based on Childhaven, an adoption society that I had a lot to do with, as my mother was secretary for 26 years. I came to know a number of the girls and their individual stories. I have fictionalised these and interwoven them into the plot but what is true is that the experience of giving up a baby for adoption left its mark on the mother for life.
In 2017 I wrote my first historical novel- HEARTS SET FREE.. It tells the story of two women - Debra a young married woman of today and Clara, who lives in the eighteenth century, and is married to a slave trader in Bristol, England. At the time there is an outcry against the slave trade, led by people such as John Wesley, the great Methodist preacher. He had an impact on William Wilberforce and encouraged him in his anti-slavery campaign. Clara hears him preach and her life is turned upside down, As Debra reads her letters she becomes so involved in the life of Clara she loses touch with her own world.
While writing HEARTS SET FREE I became fascinated with one of the minor characters, a girl who had been born on a slave plantation in Jamaica. I decided to write a sequel centred on this girl of mixed parentage and so MIRANDA was born. At the moment I am debating whether to write a third book in the series.
KATEY THE BEACH CAT was my first venture into children's writing, yet this book seems to appeal to adults who have a taste for the whimsical. Katey tells her own story and her views on life may amuse you, especially if you have ever wondered how your pets see you and other members of the animal kingdom. There is a blend of fact and fancy running through the book for Katey has a 'Furry Godmother' who transforms her into Katerina, a beautiful girl - once a month when the moon is full.
Having written about one of my pets I went on to write ROSE AND PEACH AT THE BEACH about my two chickens who were such personalities they deserved to have a story in which they featured, although it is the little girl who has them from day-old chicks and is forced to give them up who really takes centre stage and reminds us of the pains of childhood.
IF ONLY was another historical novel, though set in a time closer to our own, at the turn of the 20th century. Alice has many traits of the woman of today, believing that a career in nursing is equally worthwhile to that of a wife and mother. However, it is her devotion to the young man she is semi-engaged to, that leads her to South Africa at the start of the Boer War.
BEYOND THE HORIZON -
Just released on Amazon and Book Depository as an e-book
This novel takes the reader into Newgate, the most notorious prison in London, where Louise, the daughter of an English naval officer has to survive amongst thieves, prostitutes and forgers- where catfights, drunkenness, hunger and cold are a daily reality. Yet worse than this is the five month journey to Botany Bay where women are just a commodity in this male-dominated society. How will she cope? The answer may surprise you.