I was born in London and moved to Australia in my early twenties. My working life was spent in Sydney and it was not until we retired to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland that I finished my first book. Over the years I had started to write a couple of times but had never found the time to finish. Our first year was busy with renovations and I revelled in the sunshine and new activities. The Sunshine Coast is a beautiful place to live with the sea, rivers and lakes all close by. In fact nothing is very far away and there isn't much traffic. We joined the local tennis club where we met some lovely people and made good friends.
When the weather turned wet I decided to take up writing. It can rain hard in Queensland and sometimes for several days, but it is offset by blue skies for most of the year. The question was, what would I write about? The possibilities seemed endless and I had great difficulty deciding what to choose as my theme. I read several times that you should write about something of which you have knowledge, so eventually I decided to use my time in Canberra as a base. My husband and I had visited Egypt just before we retired and it had made a huge impact on me. It is unlike any other country I have visited. The temples there are largely complete, unlike ruins in so many other countries. We cruised the Upper Nile, changed boats at Aswan and cruised the Lower Nile. We visited temples on the Upper Nile by tenders, always accompanied by an armed guard. Often we would leave before seven in the morning because the heat, even at that time, was intense. Egypt seemed to me the perfect place to set my story. The discovery of a new tomb was perfectly within the realms of possibility and the remoteness of the Valley of the Queens made it a believable setting.
I can't say it was an easy journey to complete Missing in Egypt. I couldn't see where the story was going or envisage the ending. I would lie awake at night trying to work out the plot. Once I had the outline, filling in the detail was easy as I knew I could do it.
I naively thought that, having finished my first book, I could then start another at my leisure. However, without a publisher knocking down my door to sign me up, I was then forced to think about self-publishing. Thanks to Amazon it is now possible to self-publish at no cost. Editing my own book turned out to be much harder than I imagined. It's so easy to find mistakes in other people's work! Anyway eventually it was loaded as an e-book and then I went to Amazon's CreateSpace to create the printed version. How wonderful to hold a printed copy of your own book!
Then came the most difficult part of all - marketing and promoting. This is definitely the hardest part of the journey. It takes an enormous amount of time to try to promote your book - time that you feel could be spent writing. However, its all part of the wonderful journey into becoming an author and although at times its frustrating it is also very satisfying. So, if there is a book inside you trying to get out I would encourage you to sit down and start writing!
With my second book, Winston - A Horse's Tale the words just flowed. I had written the first few chapters some years previous - in fact they were written on a typewriter on foolscap size paper, so that shows how long ago I started it! Confident now that I could do it, I didn't try to force out an outline. I sat down at the computer and let the words come and the story evolved almost by itself! It was the book I really wanted to write and I enjoyed the ride!
Dangerous Associations, my third book, saw another genre change as I penned this crime mystery. Again set in Australia, Dangerous Associations follows Cathy Thompson as she deals with a bad car accident, the end of her marriage and a stalker. Desperate to rid herself of this man who is chasing her ex-husband, Cathy flies to Spain in a crazy bid to track him down herself.
Like most authors, I'm an avid reader. Some of my favourite authors are:
Kate Morton, Bryce Courtney, Colleen McCullough, Mary Higgins Clark, Jeffrey Archer, Fiona Walker, Dick Francis, Elizabeth Elgin.
When I'm not reading, writing or playing (not very good) tennis I enjoy walking along our beautiful beaches or rivers, occasionally throwing in a fishing line (followed by fish and chips from the local shop) and catching up with friends.
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