‘Write til your ink be dry, and with your tears
Moist it again, and frame some feeling line …’
‘Two Gentlemen of Verona'
Welcome to my website!
I'm a writer with a keen interest in medieval and early modern history. I have the Shakespeare quote above, pinned over my desk at home. Why? Because it reminds me that even Shakespeare must have had an appreciation of the hard graft and emotional investment required of writing. In so many ways, it is a labour of love.
To date I've been fortunate enough to have my writing recognised in a number of different writing forums: I won the First Pages prize of the Historical Novels Society of Australasia (2017), I was long-listed for the Richell Award (Hachette) in 2018; and this year I won a mentorship through the Australian Society of Authors. My short story 'Fare Thee Well' which is written from Shakespeare's wife's perspective has recently been shortlisted in the 2019 HNSA Short Story Competition and will be published soon in Backstory ezine.
With an MA in history from St. Andrew’s University (completed some time in the Dark Ages), and by profession an English and history teacher, I also spent nearly eight years in the army, teaching military history, completing four operational tours in war-torn Bosnia, and even enjoying a stint living in Edinburgh Castle - perhaps it’s little wonder that my writing tends to be historically-inspired. When I’m not tracking down a piece of historical dynamite, following the distant echo of will o’ the wisp characters from history, you’ll find me at my desk writing.
Ka mua, ka muri - we walk backwards into the future.
I hope you find what you’re looking for in these web pages. Thank you for visiting!
May you love what you read and read what you love!
P.S. I’m looking forward to sharing my future stories as they come to fruition, but in the meantime to find out more, please subscribe to my newsletter, or read my blog.
Born in Fiji, my early years were spent in idyllic bliss on a string of coral islands, Kiribati, in the Pacific. Some of my first memories are of flying half way around the world (aged 7) to boarding school in bitterly cold North Yorkshire and having countless torches confiscated for reading under the blankets after 'lights out'.
My father, an author of historical romance novels, first inspired my love of fiction and stories. As a child, as well as developing a passion for reading (and escapism - but that's a whole other story), I loved acting. I performed in every stage production going at school, and went on to act and sing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in various dramatic productions while at university in St. Andrew's, Scotland.
Being a lover of literature and history, and something of a thespian at heart, my first employer was not, perhaps, the most obvious of choices: the British Army. In the 1990s, while in the military, I participated in four peace-keeping operational tours in Bosnia which I now recognise had a huge impact on me. Working in various liaison and interpreting roles, (including with British special forces), I also wrote, edited and produced the troops' magazine, The Desert Rat. As you can imagine, at times life during the war in Bosnia was confronting, but compared to most people, I was very fortunate. Despite this, the experience was eye-opening, undoubtedly affecting my entire outlook on life and humanity.
After leaving the army, I worked for an educational charity before going on to run Microsoft’s Press Centre in the UK. Having my own children was something of a watershed and I decided I would like to become a teacher. It is something I have done ever since, although nowadays I'm a tutor of student teachers.
I've always had itchy feet, perhaps because of my itinerant lifestyle as a child. As well as Australia, I've lived in Fiji, Kiribati, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Indonesia, England, Scotland, Germany and France. Now I've made my home on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula in Australia. It's a special corner of the world and I love living here. Most days I spend my time wrestling for creative writing time in between tutoring, reading, social media and family - and regularly feel guilty about giving none of them sufficient focus!
If you'd like to know more about me, about established authors, about the craft of writing, about books I highly recommend, or just to read a free short story, look no further. My first quarterly newsletter will be putting in its debut appearance before the end of the year. Please click on the button to read the latest news, or subscribe via email to join my mailing list.
I imagine that every writer has that awkward period between having a dozen irons in the fire, writing like crazy, but not actually having anything officially published. For now I'm afraid to say that is the case with me. My main passion and work-in-progress has had a long gestation: it was first conceived when I was living in Edinburgh Castle back in the '90s. I'm hoping to have 'The Book Lovers' licked into shape by the end of the year. It's a dual timeline story about two women, separated by five hundred years but connected by a book. It's not your average book, and they aren't your average women ...
Get in touch with me for more information about my quarterly newsletter, blog and upcoming releases.