When I was little I thought the queen would send me birthday presents because I was born on the same day as one of her children. She didn’t.
Where I live:
I live in Cumbria in the north of England, near the Scottish border, which is also where I was born. I have not, however, lived there all my life. In fact, I have lived in seven different towns in six different counties at twenty different addresses. (No, I didn’t keep getting evicted. I just moved a lot.)
I am married to Steve. We have two children – one of each kind.
Education and Career:
By the age of seven, I had been a pupil at five different schools. (No, I didn’t keep getting expelled. I just moved a lot.)
At school, a teacher told me that the last thing I should ever do was become a teacher, especially not a French teacher, as I wouldn’t be very good at either. I ignored him and went to study French (and Theology) at Hull University. I then ignored him again and trained as a teacher at Durham University.
I have taught French in 9 different schools in 5 different local authorities. (No, I didn’t keep getting the sack. I just moved a lot.)
I left teaching and did two other jobs before going to work as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school. I do that part time so that I can spend more time writing.
To be a writer. I started writing my first book aged nine but got stuck when I mentioned a hollyhock and realised I didn’t know what one was. I was told by my English teacher, Mrs F*!# (that’s not a euphemism, her name really was a four letter word that started with F) that I had below average talent and would never be able to write anything. (See Education and Career above to find out what happens when teachers tell me I’m not capable of doing something.)
To be an artist. My dad wanted me to have a proper job, so I wasn’t allowed to do art A level in sixth form. I did art A level at evening class and got a grade A. I have my own little art studio at the bottom of the garden now.
To be a dancer. After ten years of ballet lessons, I failed grade 1. As someone who manages to trip over thin air, there is absolutely nothing I can do to achieve that early ambition. Some things are just not meant to be.