About me

I have been a writer all my life! My favourite teacher at junior school used to leave me to complete my mammoth tales while the other children went on to something else. I wish every teacher had been as encouraging as she was.

I used to create my own magazines (only one copy of each issue) and charge the other children a small fee if they wanted to read it.

However, it wasn't until I was older that I was able to fully realise my dream and concentrate on my writing. Even then, it wasn't all plain sailing. If I'd followed the advice of a university lecturer I wouldn't be where I am today. He said that a story I'd submitted for an assignment had no merit whatsoever, and I should rip it up and start again. That story 'It all seemed like yesterday' was shortlisted for a competition and eventually published in 'Woman.' I haven't looked back since then.

I have taught writing and art classes for several colleges. Many of my students have had mental health problems and have discovered the healing benefits of creative work.

I encourage all my students to put in regular practise and not give up. A story that is rejected today could be a winner next time.

My top ten tips are as follows:

•  carry a notebook wherever you go - and use it

•  write every day, even if it's only for five minutes

•  use the senses - give the reader the full experience

•  be prepared to re-write ... and re-write ... and re-write

•  read work aloud to yourself - you'll spot the dodgy bits

•  finish what you start - however bad you think it is

•  don't look to your family or friends for proper criticism

•  don't take rejection personally - keep trying

•  trust your own judgement - if you like it, stick with it

•  1% effort each day = 100% of something in just over 3 months