Third person? No, I don’t think that’s a fit. I’m imagining you, the reader, sitting comfortably opposite me; we’re swapping experiences and anecdotes, and sharing a fragrant coffee of good pedigree, or maybe a full-bosomed Shiraz, and gallons of iced water. So hi, welcome, how ya doin’?
This page in the not too distant future will, I hope, describe me as a published novelist. If not, it won’t be through lack of persistence! My first novel (working title: Out Late with Friends and Regrets) is currently seeking a good home. Such feedback as an overworked and understaffed industry has proffered has been encouraging, but as one agent said, “I like it a lot, but I wouldn’t know where to sell it”. It’s about coping with and adapting to major changes: a death and an unsuspected sexuality in particular. Handling even simple relationships like friendship without the socialisation that most of us absorb through the pores of our skin is fraught with difficulties; a controlled and isolating marriage will do that to a woman. Pitfalls and pratfalls abound, as my main character gains in confidence and experience, and struggles towards her goal.
Meanwhile, I’m busy with the second book, set in 1970s London, with casino life as its backdrop.
Writing life otherwise: I’m a serial CW student (even went on the “Save DACE” march last year!), and workshop regularly. I also love to read aloud, and have performed at Glasgow events such as Rio, Monosyllabic, Tchai Ovna, Discombobulate, Southside Festival, Words Per Minute and others. I have always written, and a very early effort, bound in boards, has the thinly-disguised young heroine knifing and killing a tiger – appalling behaviour, probably influenced by a sojourn in Singapore (my father was in the army, and we were frequently on the move). I don’t often submit stories for publication, but was pleased to be shortlisted for Chroma Magazine’s annual competition in 2009, particularly as it wasn’t purpose-written, and if I’m honest didn’t really meet the spec.
English by birth, I settled in Scotland in the eighties, and for the last few have lived with my partner in Motherwell, with deceptively cute mutt Jonesy (F) and a house and garden that take a lot of work to maintain, but which give much pleasure to the soul. I work as a fitness instructor now, teaching aerobics and body conditioning to both general and older groups, creating choreography to the bass-and-percussion-heavy music tracks that I love (find me on Classfinder!). Previously I had a jewellery shop for which I did the engraving, designing and some smaller repairs. I spent ten years as a croupier/inspector/pit boss in casinos, and have enjoyed a diversity of other jobs.
Education: eleven schools, counting en-route troopship school. Mainly Ranelagh (grammar) School in Bracknell, whence I emerged with more Os and As than my then work ethic actually merited!
Oh, that’ll do. This is probably way too long for an ‘About’ page, anyway. Great to meet you – come back soon.