I didn’t set out to be a writer. I trained as a teacher and enjoyed working with young children until the chance came to teach in a prison. I jumped at it and immediately became interested in the community of the prison and in my adult students. A Fellowship enabled me to visit prisons in Scandinavia, a very positive experience which confirmed my determination that prisons can and should be purposeful and positive for prisoners and staff.
I began to write poetry and undertook a creative writing course where I was mentored by Sara Maitland. I worked on my first novel The Estuary.
Places – Suffolk in particular – matter greatly to me, and are often the starting point from where I begin to think about character and then about plot. I have now completed three more novels, and several collections of poems, one of which was the result of an MA in Writing the Visual at Norwich University College of the Arts.
It was only when I had completed my first novel that I realised that what really interests me are identity and belonging. These two significant aspects of being human are central to my creative work as well as to my biographies.
I am beginning to think about what to do next. Another biography? More poems? A radio play?
I have to make time to get out on my bike, to canoe on the River Stour and to dance with my European dance group, for I find that all those activities nourish ideas.