The beginning of my writing career was when I joined a local second chance course and realised that I could make people laugh with my writing.
The first commercial piece I wrote was sold to the guardian and I decided, with an insane optimism that I should write for a living. At last I had found something I enjoyed that was at least potentially profitable.
Once I began to write it became an obsession and I couldn’t and haven’t stopped. Writing makes me very happy and I chortle as I commune with my laptop (this can’t be normal but what is?) I spent time around writers in my youth – William Burroughs and Alexander Trocchi were good mates but it never occurred to me to write, nobody expected me to so I didn’t. Which sounds extremely limp now.
I began writing short stories about incidents in the ’50s which were eventually to be incorporated into my first novel: A Blues for Shindig. I also got involved in poetry in Southampton and wrote some menopausal punk poetry which I performed with punk bands locally.
I went on a comedy workshop at Channel 4 , sent one of my sketches to the Solent Peoples Theatre company and got some work writing sketches for them. I began to teach for the WEA at about this time although I saw myself as a facilitator.
Meanwhile the novel grew and grew and after its first rejection I decided to write plays, joined a playwriting group at the Nuffield theatre. This was very productive and I had three plays and a monologue produced professionally.
Still the novel was on my mind and I footled and fiddled with it and sent it off from time to time and it thudded back regularly. I wrote radio plays one of which won second prize at Talk Radio. I always had these encouraging noises and I did believe that my novel would be published one day. I sent it to TLC for analysis and it was shredded, productively. I shortened it, inserted a new plot and finally it was published. I always felt that my voice was a unique one from the Fifties era.
I have a second novel with my publisher and two more in process. I now write a blog regularly. This can be viewed on my website or on my publisher Legend’s blog with the addition of pictures courtesy of Lucy. I also Twitter.
I sometimes read my poetry in public.
Even more about me
I am a feminist and a political animal. I was involved in the Anti Nazi league in the seventies and believe that we did some useful work. I was also involved in the Anti Apartheid movement and went regularly to Greenham Common. I regard both of these as success stories and am convinced that there is always something that we can do to change the system and that protest is vital, particularly to the protesters. I am a strident complainer and believe that unless you tell them they wont realise where they are going wrong! I am disillusioned with our ‘leaders’ but reckon we must keep on their tails and observe them closely – no matter how depressing this is.