At school I always loved to write ‘compositions’, as they were known then, and often had to stand up to read mine out loud. If the teacher ever mentioned that we were going to study poetry, a collective groan would go around the classroom, with me being the only one to shout: ‘Yippee!’
My father was born in Wales and I spent many a happy hour in the company of his mother, sitting by the open fire, where she would relate hilarious stories about her early life in Wales.
That dear lady was a huge influence on me. My late mother was a no-nonsense Cockney, who’d gained certificates at school for her written
work. Both my grandfathers died long before I was born, which meant I totally missed out on those special grandfather/granddaughter relationships, yet it was heart-warming to discover that my paternal grandfather had been a great letter writer in his day.
I was never what you might call academic, but I can remember accompanying my parents to an open evening at my secondary school. “Your daughter will be a writer!” announced my form teacher, much to my amazement. It wasn’t until I was married and had two young children that I embarked on a correspondence course with The Writing School. My original dream of seeing my stories published in women’s magazines was quickly forgotten, however, once I’d had an article accepted by a local magazine. The actor, Geoffrey Palmer, had been a near neighbour for a while and so he was my very first interviewee, the subsequent feature appearing in a local paper.
My writing journey had begun…