During my 30 years in teaching, I loved to write stories, plays and musicals for children. My audience was enthusiastic and unfailingly appreciative. Unfortunately, as a headteacher, I was also required to write long, tedious documents for school inspectors. I don’t remember quite the same enthusiasm or thanks when I produced these works of fiction.
Although reluctant to leave the Ribble Valley village school where I was headteacher for 11 years, I was delighted to find space in my life for some real writing.
I am pleased to have been shortlisted and placed in a number of competitions, including Flash 500, TSS and the Bath Short Story Award 2017.
To date, there are two novels. ‘Walking Apart’ is set in the beautiful Ribble Valley, where I have lived for most of my life. It explores the relationship between David and Helen, who are in their mid-fifties. I give no apology for using Helen as a voice for some of my feelings about primary education. Teaching is an art, not a tick-box exercise, as she tries to explain to a young teacher.
‘Holding on Letting go’ was published in 2018. It is set in the gorgeous landscape of South West France and explores some of the issues facing an ex-pat family through their relationships and their experience of living and working in France.
Walking Alone, a sequel to Walking Apart, is due for publication in April 2020. The Camino de Santiago in Spain provides a haunting and emotional backdrop to the continuing story of David and Helen Richardson.
I divide my time between Lancashire and South West France. My husband Gary, tootles about on his tractor while I sit in the shade and allow my characters to shape their own destinies as I write.
I am indebted to the nine other talented members of the Parisot Writing Group for their enthusiasm, support and friendship. I couldn’t have done any of this without them.