Maria Duffy

I’ve always loved to write. From the time I could hold a pen, I was scribbling words, which were largely illegible but they were stories in my head. As I grew older, I loved to people-watch and listen in on conversations whenever I could. Something as simple as a woman in front of me in a queue talking about her husband working late every night would set the scene for a story of deceit and lies, and I’d rush home to get the words on paper. But my insecurities meant that my writing remained firmly under lock and key, never to be seen by another soul. I wasn’t college educated, I told myself. Who’d want to read anything I’d written? My life continued with a career in the bank and a period of staying at home to rear four children. I had a good life but eventually realised that I’d never feel completely fulfilled until I pursued a career in writing. So I finally plucked up the courage to share my work and within a few months, I’d signed a deal for my first two books to be published. I was forty years old when I saw that first book on the shelves of bookstores and I couldn’t stop crying. It was the most amazing feeling ever. Writing is my go-to place. It’s where I can escape into a world of make-believe and anything is possible. I have written six best-selling books now and just finished my seventh. I still have to pinch myself when I hold one of my books in my hands, remembering the young girl who wrote in secret, thinking she’d never be good enough.