Firstly, I should point out that as an author I am definitely a late starter. I seem to be following the statistic which says we will all have three careers in our lifetime! Here are 7 other things you may like to know about me...
- The majority of my working life has been spent as a stylist/costume designer, I couldn’t begin to remember the number of commercials or shoots I have worked on over a thirty year period - a lot ! I started working with the infamous Anna Wintour as her assistant on Harpers and Queen magazine, where I have to say that contrary to most people idea of her, I always found her a joy to work with, and she taught me a lot .
- It was 30 years before I changed direction ,throwing in my lot to work for my daughter Calypso Rose, who had just won a major business award and was collapsing under the weight of work. We have been joined at the hip for fourteen years now and have had two businesses, an accessory company ‘Clippykit’ and now an online experience company ‘ The Indytute’ (http://www.indytute.com/).
- I am one in a long line of journalists and writers. Really the odd thing is that I haven’t put pen to paper before, apart from the odd article here and there. I had a hard act to follow. My mother was a career journalist, and a noted gardening writer, Anne Scott James, and my brother is a former newspaper editor and now an author specialising in military history,Sir Max Hastings.My father, grandparents ( on both sides) were all writers so I do not fear the blank page, it really is in my DNA.
- I have lived in my house in London for the past 34 years, and it was during the redecoration of an upstairs room that I found a flyer that had been lost under the floorboards. A glimpse into the past. The house was built in 1873 and research revealed a motley crew from bodice makers and book sellers to a theatrical agent. A joy to think on and of course turn into my novel ‘The House in Little Chelsea’.
- I am to my bones a ‘Londoner’ and have really revolved around the same area since I was a babe in arms. One of my characters looks for love in Kensington Gardens, and the Natural History Museum. I certainly can’t go through the dinosaur display now without an adult to hand as I was absolutely terrified of the displays when I was tiny. For some reason I was left to wander the hall alone, while my nanny sat and waved from a bench.
- I do love houses. I have a passion for dolls houses - all that miniature food. I find it soothing to cogitate on the continuity of old houses, not for me the modern box.
- My hobby is gardening. I have a roof garden in London and I love it. Everything seems to thrive up there.It is a surprise at the top of the house, unexpected, and my personal contribution to the design changes within the house . When I first moved in it was still used for lodgers, with three mini kitchens and two bathrooms. I love that I have lived in the same property for so long. I have pushed a business card through a crack in the floorboard, which I hope will be found in the distant future by another soul redecorating, but not quite yet...
THE HOUSE IN LITTLE CHELSEA by CLARE HASTINGS
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