From childhood, school reports noted my ‘voracious’ appetite for reading, but I only discovered my passion for writing in my early thirties. Newly separated from my husband, and seeking to rebuild my social life, I joined an evening class in creative writing at my local college – inspired by my short-lived career as a journalist. At the end of the year, our tutor’s parting words to me were ‘Keep writing!’
Buoyed by her encouragement, I did, and not long afterwards I had an epiphany: this was the thing I was born to do. I was no good at music or sport and, although academically gifted, I’d never found my vocation – until now. This sudden certainty came as both a relief and an absolute joy.
I love the way writing enables me to share my experience of the world, in particular my experience of living with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, which feature in my debut novel and which I also write about on my blog. Given the continuing stigma around mental health, I’m passionate about raising awareness and increasing understanding. It may be a serious topic, but I try to handle it in an accessible way and with a light touch – I want to inform and entertain – and the positive feedback from readers has been immensely rewarding.
I can’t fix all the wrongs of the world, but I can make tiny corners of it better, and it’s writing that allows me to do so.