I was born and grew up on the small island of Guernsey, one of the British Channel Islands in the English Channel. My mother was a professional landscape artist, so I grew up in an environment where it was a very normal thing to want to make a living from your art. Which is just as well, because I’m someone who always knew she wanted to be a writer, and if I’d had parents who’d harboured hopes of me becoming a tax accountant or a corporate lawyer, they’d have been sorely disappointed.
I’ve been obsessed with words and books since the day I first learned to read, and grew up on classic children’s authors like Enid Blyton and Edith Nesbit. As I got older I began to gravitate towards love stories with gripping plots, devouring novels like Jane Eyre, Rebecca, Katharine, Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice, about clever, independent women caught up in passionate affairs with complex, Byronic men. And equally I loved sweeping epics like The Thorn Birds and Gone With The Wind. I was also a keen writer myself from an early age, penning copious stories and poems – as well as plays to be performed in the field behind our house, with parts for me and my younger brother and sister, but always with myself in the starring role (of course!).
My love of language developed into an interest in foreign languages, too, and I went on to study French and German at university, then to live and study in Germany for several years after that. Throughout my time at university in both the UK and Germany I studied 1900-1945 European history and culture – a period that fascinates me to this day. I always knew that when I eventually wrote my first novel it would be a novel of historical fiction set during the first half of the twentieth century.
After university I decided I’d like to try making a living from writing as a journalist, and my first job was as a reporter at the local newspaper in Guernsey, writing all about the idiosyncrasies of life on a small island, such as thick fog at the airport stopping flights from the UK getting in, and “ormering” tides – especially low tides when the island’s seafood delicacy, ormers, can be harvested. But I’m more of a big city person and heart, so I never felt truly at home back in Guernsey. And after a few years I moved to London and got a job writing for Dow Jones News and the Wall Street Journal.
As time went on my dream of writing a novel was always there in the background, and I spent what little spare time I had while living and working in London trying to make a start on a book. I must have started at least three different novels over that period. None of them was good enough to be published, but on the positive side, with each book the writing got noticeably better and better. Looking back now, I can see that this time of trial and error was part of a very, very long writing apprenticeship – one that was kind of dispiriting at the time, but vital for me to go through. Then my two children came along – and writing was almost completely off the agenda for several very busy years. Then finally they got a bit older and went off to school.
And it was suddenly make or break time. I was very fortunate in that I didn’t have to go straight back to paid work outside the home, and so I had distraction-free time to take my long-held dream of writing a book seriously. And Beyond The Moon is the result.
I hope you enjoy Beyond The Moon as much as I loved writing it. I love to hear from readers, so please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, on my contact details page, you can sign up for my mailing list and receive occasional (I don’t have the time for anything more frequent!) news about Beyond The Moon and future novels.
I’m currently working on a second novel set in 1900s Vienna, when the “imperial city” – as it was known – was at the heart of the enormous, cosmopolitan Austro-Hungarian Empire. It’s another smart historical love story, and I’m very excited about it.
I have author pages on Amazon and Goodreads, and you can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook.
I live in London with my husband, two children, and two very active chinchillas.