In the beginning my published work was concerned with ceramics. As I worked with my hands my mind was filled with poetry and stories. Some found life on paper but many more have vanished. My delight was to welcome children into my workshop and share with them the magic of grownup mud pies.
With the start of the new millennium I closed my pottery and began to build doll houses. The first house became the inspiration for ‘Phoenix House’ a novel for younger readers based on a island threatened by flood and I found myself exploring the problems of child carers, and growth though grief and loss. As I began building the second house I entered the lives of a new set of characters and found myself writing The Gatehouse, a story of an arts graduate facing problems of inherited responsibility complicated by illegal immigration and the exploitation of frail and elderly people. The third house, a fisherman’s cottage, prompted research into the eighteenth century wine trade and wrecks on the Chesil Beach and so far has no title. As each house grew the people who lived in there became real, inhabiting my mind and sharing their lives with me in the small hours of the morning. The fourth and smallest house, became the home of Fran Carver, the grandmother who wouldn’t conform, she gave me the plot for Willoughby’s Will.
I write to give life to the characters who inhabit my inner world and to explore problems such as acute loneliness, child abuse, internet dating, illegal immigration, care for the elderly and family relationships, laced with a touch of romance and mystery. At eighty plus I am too old to see my work published in the time-honoured way, the only solution is to become an indie author.
Ginny feels as though her young life has gone up in flames. Her beloved grandmother has died; storms threaten; a brutal evil from the modern world has invaded her island home. Yet there is always something new, life in the ashes of the old. The strength of new-found friendship and gifts from the past equip her to stand up to the trials that approach. And the island always looks after its own.
Phoenix House is available from Amazon as a Kindle ebook and in paperback.
Moss from a Rolling Stone – An anthology of short stories written in quiet moments of a varied and colourful life – published in July 2019 as a Kindle ebook and paperback.
A series of greyhounds have been my companions over the past forty five years and have quietly joined the cast of characters in my books. This is Muffin who was found lost and starving in a street in Gloucester when he was little more than puppy. He is now twelve years old and his muzzle is white but he can still out run a Labrador.
The Greyhound Trilogy – Greyhounds are present as significant back ground figures in all three novels. Willoughby, a free lance journalist, appears at times of crisis. A recurring question is who is Willoughby? Is he just a journalist or has he a hidden secret?
Willoughby’s Will – the first in The Greyhound Trilogy. Fran has earned her living as an author and is now a widowed grandmother whose family and friends expect her to conform, sell the family home and downsize into warden protected accommodation. Instead she decides to live life to the full, buys a camper van, acquires a greyhound and a tortoiseshell kitten at the roadside, accidentally buys a derelict cottage, abseils down the church tower in her adopted community and learns how four different generations react to unplanned pregnancies. This is a story of changing relationships for a woman who defies conventions and despite her age finds that romance is not just for the young. Willoughby’s Will is to be published in August 2019 as a Kindle ebook and a paperback.
Work in progress
Dragonfly – Greyhound Trilogy 2 – An ambitious entrepreneur sells his white goods business which included importing illegal immigrants, with the intention of becoming a country gentleman and making a fortune from from a series of care homes for elderly pensioners. Jess, an arts graduate with a deep sense of responsibility for her widowed father, the ancient and decaying family home and her local community, decides to turn the Gatehouse of Abbey Grange into an art gallery which will benefit both the local community and young creative talent. Can ambitious greed create a country gentleman or will he get his comeuppance and an improbable story of hidden treasure turn out to be true?
Loneliness is a Killer – Greyhound Trilogy 3 -An elderly Dorset widow finds a lost and emaciated teenager on her doorstep. A widower living on the edge of Sefton Park, Liverpool with two greyhounds as his closest companions looks for human company on the internet. The modern world would have these three disparate people absorbed into the care system but chance brings them all together and provides earlier and surprising links.