I began to build doll houses in 2000, the first one became the inspiration for ‘Phoenix House’ a novel for young adult readers based on a island threatened by flood. I found myself exploring the problems of child carers, and growth though grief and loss. The second house asked to be a writer’ cottage and soon became the basis for Willoughby’s Will the home of a woman who refused to conform to the social expectations of aging women, she sold her house, bought a camper van and unintentionally embarked on a life of adventure and romance. The third became the home of an arts graduate facing problems of inherited responsibility complicated by illegal immigration and the exploitation of frail and elderly people. I have just completed ‘Loneliness is a Killer’ a novel involving internet dating. I have one more dolls’ house, a fisherman’s cottage, which will require research into the eighteenth century wine trade and wrecks on the Chesil Beach, so far it has no title. As each house grows the people who live in it become real, sharing their lives and relationships laced with a touch of romance and mystery with me in the small hours of the morning. 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.
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 -to be published in the new Year. 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.