I was born and raised in Chilvers Coton, an area that frequently pops up in my books, probably because I know it so well. I love researching the areas where I am going to set my novels and was amazed when I first became published to discover just how steeped in history my home town is.
I have always been an avid reader and when I was at school English was always my favourite subject. One of my all-time favourite authors is Catherine Cookson.
After having our own children, my husband and I became foster carers and for many years we cared for children of all ages. Some of them came for just a short time, others stayed for years. I think that’s one of the reasons I never seem to run out of ideas for my books.
As well as being a foster carer I was also a placement support worker for our local Social Services and during the time in that role I also became the first person in Warwickshire to become a qualified level 3 NVQ Assessor. Part of my job was running training courses for other carers anywhere in Warwickshire so with seven children to care for too it was quite a busy time.
I never work set hours. I tend to get all my jobs done then settle down to whatever book I am working on. That’s the best part of the day when I can lock myself away with all my imaginary characters and lose myself in the stories. As they develop the characters become real to me and I grow to love them. I always feel sad when a book is finished when I have to say goodbye to them and move on to another one!
I love gardening and find it much harder to work during the day in the summer than I do in the winter. There’s something magical about the dark nights when I can lock myself away in my office with nothing but the wind to be heard sighing outside the window. A couple of years ago, my husband had our loft converted into a large office for me. The view from the window across the Hayes is so breath-taking that I had to move my desk away from it because I was spending too much time watching the wildlife instead of writing.
Along with the children came a menagerie of animals that I always ended up caring for when the novelty wore off with the children.
Just over five years ago, we moved to live in an old character house, perfect for the antiques we love scouring the shops for.
I adore animals and we currently have five dogs, three Shihtzu’s, Sassy, Honey and Alice, and two Chihuahua puppies, Mowgli and Beau.
I’ve never been a particularly sporty person but I love walking my dogs in the woods adjoining our house and on the beach at our holiday home.