My Story

For a little bit about who I am, and the journey which took me around the world and back to my homeland, read on...
I was born and brought up in the South-West of Scotland, and I used this lovely countryside in my first historical saga, The Broken Gate.
I never thought much about what I wanted to be when I grew up. My dream was to be a ballet dancer; it never ever occurred to me that I could be a real writer for I wrote all the time, stories and poetry, all long lost, thank goodness! I took what seemed the only option open to me and became a teacher.
After graduating I went to teach in the USA for a year - and stayed 18 years, so many of my special memories are connected to my time there. My first job was at the Sacred Heart School in Washington D.C.- a school full of high-powered little people with famous parents and I was petrified at the idea of teaching them. Needless worry, for they were all delightful - some, all these years later, are still friends - and they taught me a valuable lesson. All children, rich poor, black white, sick well, are the same and deserve the best of what you can give them.
I travelled with the children of Senator Eugene McCarthy - that's the nice Senator McCarthy -during the 1968 campaign and learned lots about the life-style of international politicians. Finding the singing trio Peter, Paul and Mary or even the gorgeous Dustin Hoffman on the doorstep were everyday occurrences.
I never thought about it much. It was only years later when my children would say, Who did you say you had dinner with? that I realised how special a time it was. And no, I will never write about any of the people I met.
When I married Ian, a Scottish scientist working on the first moon shots, I was taken away from the Washington high life to sunny California. There I fell in love with Mexico, heading 'south of the Border' as often as possible, took two university degrees and had two children - my supreme accomplishment. I wrote stories for my boys - published them in small magazines and then thought of a NOVEL -a Regency romance - which I wrote while pretending to watch my sons swim. In fact a lot of my work was written while I pretended to watch cricket, rugby, riding etc etc.
We returned to Scotland and after teaching for a few years - and getting up at 4am every morning to write - I became a full time writer and have since published novels, serials, short stories, and a novel for young teens.
Apart from my family the great love of my life is opera. I remember vividly hearing a snatch of a tenor aria on the radio while I was at college and humming it to every musicologist I met for years before discovering it was from Mozart's Don Giovanni. It seems that every major city in which we've lived has built an opera house the year we left! Now we're back in Scotland and Edinburgh and the Festival Theatre and the wonderful Scottish opera are not too far away.
I'm fascinated by the way everything in life affects everything else. Although I enjoyed writing historical novels and am very interested in how women have had to struggle for their place in the sun I decided to write a novel that had a background in the opera world. To make sure that background was authentic I researched the career of Placido Domingo and an admiration for his outstanding voice led me on to research the whole fascinating world of the opera. Every day, it seems, I learn more, hear another incredible voice, marvel at the brilliant blending of different voices in a quartet; a fascinating study.
I spent some time in Curnavaca, Mexico, with my sons while I was studying for my master's degree and I was able to take a fascinating class on Mexican music. That led to a love affair with the guitar. I don't play but love to listen. When I'm ironing or peeling potatoes, all sorts of music soars out of my kitchen windows- Alfred Brendel playing Beethoven piano sonatas, Segovia playing the guitar, John Denver singing his beautiful love songs. I have catholic tastes.
I'm an honorary member of the Angus Writers Circle, and was vice president of the Scottish Association of Writers. For many years I have been a member of the Society of Authors and was on the committee of the Scottish branch for about six years and for four was the Secretary - very time consuming but rewarding and enjoyable. A few years ago I joined the Romantic Novelists Association and wish I had discovered them years ago. Their conferences are wonderful.
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