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 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.
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 three 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, was published in July 2020. The Camino de Santiago in Spain provides a haunting and emotional backdrop to the continuing story of David and Helen Richardson.
In January 2021, a collection of short stories was made available under the title Moving Pictures. It takes the reader from Lisbon, the Holy Land and France, to Lancashire and the Lake District in an anthology of 17 short pieces, some prize-winners, all with an emphasis on the strengths and weaknesses of human relationships.