I was born and raised in Cumbria, England, a part of the country beloved by writers and poets. I grew up in the shadows of literary greats.
Wordsworth went to school in Hawkshead and lived in Grasmere. He's buried in Grasmere churchyard. John Ruskin's house, Brantwood, overlooks Coniston water. He's one of my favourite poets. My father was born in Coniston.
Beatrix Potter used to visit my grandmother's shop in Ambleside. My grandmother's house boasted the fact that Charlotte Bronte used to stay there (before my grandmother's time, of course). As a child, I slept in Charlotte's bedroom. Even now, that fact gives me goose bumps.
I read Jane Eyre when I was nine years old, and have loved it ever since.
Myself? Oh, just a high school graduate whose English teacher thought I had a flair for story telling and told me never to stop writing. But I didn't listen to her.
I did a year of community college and one year of business studies at University. I got married, had a baby, enjoyed life as it was. I stopped writing. I used to make up stories for my son, but never wrote them down.
Following the premature death of my husband in 1984, I lived in France for a while. I picked up the lingo, and still use it frequently in Ontario, Canada, where I now live.
About ten years ago, my partner placed a business ad in a local paper. He got talking to the sales rep, who said they were looking for someone to write feature advertising articles on local businesses. He mentioned that I enjoyed writing and gave the sales rep my phone number.
I passed the test, and now do between four to six articles a month, most of them for the newspaper, and the odd one through word of mouth. Mind you, a gerbil couldn't live on what they pay me, so I work another job too.
About eighteen months ago, I started writing fiction and wrote my first novel. It took me five months. Now, there's rarely a day goes by that I don't write something.
I'm following the indie route online at the moment, building up a fan base. But even if success isn't to be, I'll still write, because I love it.
It's part of who I am.