Notes on an Island life.
Although I write about London’s East End, my husband and I now live in the south of England. We’ve always got lots to talk about as we love technology, art and writing.
I left school without qualifications and went to work in my dad’s shop. As the only child, I have always kept notes and believe the creative juices flow accordingly. I notice people who write or paint all have their own methods and unique style. Body, mind and spirit rhythms make the arts a perfect vehicle for expression.
People are curious about how I began writing. In 1999 I completed a full-length novel and sent it to an agent.
LIZZIE OF LANGLEY STREET was accepted by the Dorian Literary Agency and after many drafts of rewriting, was taken up by Simon & Schuster.
I come from a large and colourful cockney family, who were evacuated from the East End. So, after LIZZIE, I wrote another London novel, ROSE OF RUBY STREET, published in 2006. CONNIE OF KETTLE STREET followed, then BELLA OF BOW STREET, LILY OF LOVE LANE and EVE OF THE ISLE. My latest books are EAST END ANGEL, IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER and EAST END JUBILEE. October 2012 saw A SISTER’S SHAME published, followed by COCKNEY ORPHAN in April 2013. A WARTIME CHRISTMAS has the release date of October 2013.
My parents grew up on the Isle of Dogs. This is a horseshoe-shaped piece of land surrounded on three sides by the River Thames. Elizabeth I was said to have used the land to exercise her hunting dogs. In 1940, the East End was bombed by the Luftwaffe for nine consecutive months. During this time a doodlebug demolished my parents’ house, but luckily they escaped.
There’s only one thing you have to do if you really want to write, and that is practice. Each day, every day, write a little, read a little, think a little. With the internet at our fingertips, research and information is abundant. Keep a notebook and keen ear for conversations!
I receive many emails from people who now have ereaders, such as the Kindle. I’m happy to say that my books, as well as being published in hard copy, are also sold as ebooks and audio. I’m a keen supporter of libraries and am always delighted to find the many versions of my books on their shelves.
Happy reading everyone! I do hope you enjoy my novels!