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I am born in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, and emerge from the womb saying, ‘Someone lead me to cake.’


I make life difficult for teachers and spend many lessons standing outside the classroom gurning through the window. Caring foster parents do their best to train me, taking advice from lion tamers and snake charmers. I write terrible poems. 


Spurning a place at school to do A levels in a fit of being-sixteen, I train at Warwickshire College to become a medical secretary.


I move away from home to London and begin my first job at the London Hospital in Whitechapel as secretary to an Out-patient Psychiatric Department. 


I find a man and marry him, going on to bear his three children. I work part-time, but not during the actual births. 


I attend classes in Creative Writing and find I have moved on from angst-filled poems. Mostly. 


At evening school for a year, I study for English Lit/Lang A level, get the highest mark in the country, and meet David Blunkett and his dog at an award ceremony. I am featured in The Independent and the Mirror as well as local papers, looking as unlike an intelligent person as is possible.


I study for an English degree at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, aged 37. I am officially designated a first-class person. I start publishing articles and features, enter small competitions, and sometimes get ‘runner-up’ or ‘highly commended’. Other times I get despair at failure. 


To make sure I spend the rest of my life despairing at failure, I sign up for teacher training in secondary schools.


Just as I gain my PGCE in secondary English and start teaching, the writing takes off, and I take up juggling (time, not balls). I begin writing regularly for the Times Educational Supplement and am published elsewhere, too. I win some competitions for writing and for performance poetry. I move back to Leamington Spa. I do some stand-up comedy and cry afterwards. 


I spend a year on the prestigious Writing West Midlands Room 204 mentoring programme for emerging writers and have a blast. I learn things. 


Tony Collins, Commissioning Editor for SPCK Publishing, suggests I write a funny memoir, based on my years in teaching. 



 The funny memoir gets written and is published by SPCK in May 2020. It's called 'Miss, What Does Incomprehensible Mean?' 


I write a full-length novel about a teenager who goes into foster care only to find that she's not the most dysfunctional one in the house. An editor at Legend Press says she annoyed her husband in bed by reading funny bits out. Legend Press buys the book!



'Cuckoo in the Nest' is published on 26 April and I embark on a sequel, like embarking on a boat only minus the boat.  



'Cuckoo in the Nest' is runner-up for the Paul Torday Memorial Prize and I win £1000 and a big grin. Also, a follow-up called 'Home Bird' is announced, to be published March 2025.  

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