I have always been a writer. I was writing stories from a young age (mostly terrible), but I had my first literary prize at the age of ten with a story I co-wrote with my dad. It was called ‘The Giraffe who Sneezed’ and I did the illustrations for it. I won the school’s writing competition and my prize was to pick two books from the school book fair; I can’t recall the first, but the second was a book called ‘A Kind of Thief’ by Vivien Alcock, a book I always remember because the lead male character was my first book crush.
I am terrible at Maths. I managed to scrape a C at GCSE, which was a surprise to everyone. While working my first job on a burger van at the age of 15, I gave customers the wrong change (usually too much) so regularly that eventually the owner reassigned me to the duties of tea-making and going to the local Co-op to stock up on supplies.
I am stupidly clumsy. I drop things, smash things, fall over things…I often catch my husband looking at me with a face I now recognise to mean, ‘how the hell did you manage that?!’ I am so clumsy that I once managed to chip my own eyeball with a work folder; it took eighteen months to heal and isn’t an experience I would like to repeat.
I didn’t go on a plane until the age of 21, but I’ve made up for it since. I’ve been lucky enough to see a lot of amazing places, but my favourite country is Italy. I would love to visit Canada one day.
I’d love to play the role of Miss Hannigan in Annie. This is a lifelong ambition, but a bit of a strange one really: I’m not even sure I can act. The singing would be questionable also (although the character is drunk for most of the play, so it wouldn’t matter too much). I love the film, love the songs, love the stage versions I’ve seen, and love this character so much – it just looks as though it would be a lot of fun.
I like to decorate cakes. I like the baking part, but it’s the decorating and sugar craft I really enjoy: I find it therapeutic. I’ve made a lot of novelty cakes for my nieces and nephew and for friends’ children, and I’ve even been trusted with a few wedding cakes.
I’ve run three half marathons. I’m not a runner. I hate running. I don’t see any enjoyment in sweat and cramp and stitches. I am, however, a bit of a silent point-prover, so if someone thinks I can’t do something I like to prove them wrong. Mostly, I like to prove myself wrong.
I am a Scrabble geek. I rarely get to play though: my husband is a sportsman and is therefore incredibly competitive; he beat me once and refuses to play again, saying he’s gone into retirement while he was at the top of the game.
My first baby is due this month – the same month as publication day! Six months after I got married, my husband and I were told we had more chance of winning the lottery than we did of conceiving. I don’t think it really hit home fully at the time; this came later, when our IVF attempts kept failing. We decided the fourth round would be the last, and we are now just weeks away from meeting our daughter. Hopefully, she’ll play Scrabble with me.
This is a list of only 9 things. See – I said I was terrible at Maths…