Born in Northumberland, England in 1947, and migrating south with my family, I returned north for a degree in Maths and Physics from Leeds University then worked for three decades in computing.
This had little to do with being the dramaturg at a girls’ school. That Arts Council funded appointment came from my involvement in community publishing, which sprang from from successes for plays, poetry and stories.
These Monday evenings still finds me at my writing group Slough Writers. On other nights I am dancing modern jive and most weekends I’m at the South Coast with my special friend, Luvlady. There’s also the garden, now entirely converted to vegetable beds, and the concessionary bus pass to make the most of. Especially useful returning from a pub lunch at the end of a long walk.
The story of my writing
My first success as a writer came when I was 12, a magazine article about the nest-building persistence of a nuthatch. This earned me a five shilling postal order (25p in decimal GBP). Spurred by that rewarding experience I went into computing for a career.
My first notoriety as a writer came as founder of an in-house magazine when I worked on the EMI body-scanner. SX99 became more subversive and salacious the more employee morale sank until it was suppressed by management. I continued to use creativity with words and cartoons to enliven reports, to bring an issue to attention or to amuse the users of the computer systems.
My first novel was “A masterpiece hidden under a bushel of words” according to the editor at Penguin Books. Quite right, certainly the bushel of words.
My first . . . enough of that. Selected writing work and projects are noted on other pages here with a bushel of endeavours described on my portfolio website.
Engaging with other writing practitioners includes being a member of Slough Writers for many years and Treasurer for most of them. While a member of Progress Theatre’s writing group I introduced Showcase, a production of new scripts now rebadged as Progress WriteFest. Writing the proposal for Showcase got me elected Chair of the theatre. Also in Reading I was a member and on the editorial council of community publisher Corridor Press.