I’m a great believer in ‘it’s never too late to do anything!’ My first book was published during the week of my sixtieth birthday. I have gone on to have three more books published since then, the latest being Angelica Stone, which came out last month. The whole experience has led to me doing so many different things – it’s been amazing!
My biggest regret in life is that I didn’t take my writing seriously much earlier. Sometimes you just get bogged down with all the minutiae life throws at you and delay getting on with the things you really want to do. Don’t. Just do it. We only have one life – go out there and grab it with both hands!
I love to laugh and am known for my sense of humour, as you may realise when reading my books! I truly believe that laughter is the best medicine. My mother had Alzheimer’s and I was her carer for ten years – my sense of humour was definitely a big part of my coping strategy…
I also love to dance. Give me some good music and an empty space and I’m away! I had an amazing book launch for Angelica Stone at the fabulous Vout-o-Reenee’s in London recently, where we ended the night with some crazy dancing. I’m quite often the first on the dance floor wherever I go. In fact a few weeks ago we were on holiday in Antibes, where my daughter and I managed to get everyone up and dancing in the marketplace!
I used to be the northern area secretary for the late, great Dusty Springfield’s fan club. She had such an amazing voice, I loved her music – still do. I met her several times and was always jealous that my eye make-up could never seem to look quite like hers!
As a child my favourite place on earth was my grandmother’s attic. She had a big old rambling house in Yorkshire where we stayed a lot. Up the narrow, creaky staircase at the top of the house, the attic was full of hidden treasures – or so it seemed to me. As an only child I would explore, lose myself in the world of my imagination and write little stories about the characters I invented.
I run a literary festival, Northwich LitFest. I started it six years ago, without a budget, and have never worked so hard at blagging things for free in my life! Adele Parks, Sunny Ormonde, Carole Matthews, Sophie Parkin, Stella Duffy, Paul Burston, Angela Clarke, Rowan Coleman, and many, many more have all been guests over the years. Running the LitFest has opened so many doors for me, for which I will always be grateful.
I love dogs. We never intended to have another after our last one died, but now we seem to have acquired two. Alfie is a cavapoochon and Lola, a chug. Posh mongrels some may say. Whatever. We are besotted.
My daughter is an actor and has been touring her self-penned one woman show, Kissing Frogs, recently. I was, what could be loosely termed, stage manager. It was hard work – but great fun!
My sixties have been my best decade. Amazing but true. I have had the best time – and always with that feeling of something exciting being just around the corner. I’m free to be me!