We use Jenny Francis as a pen name to write fiction. Our real names are Patricia Scudamore and Hilton Catt and our main claim to fame is the long list of business and careers books we have written for leading publishers over the last twenty years.

Jenny Francis

Jenny Francis

We invented the self-managed career. We started the drive to get people thinking about shaping their own futures rather than leaving it to their bosses.

We originally came from backgrounds in Human Resources Management and the insight this gave us into people and what drives them has been the main underpinning to our work. There is nothing like real life and we draw on it as our source of learning and inspiration.

When we were in HR we always worked at the sharp end. Over the years we interviewed countless people for jobs ranging from Managing Directors to Shop Floor Sweepers and our work took us all over the country. We loved every minute but, most of all, interviewing taught us to be good listeners.

We are still in touch with some of the people we interviewed over thirty years ago. Many of them are now in top jobs. It gives a feeling of great satisfaction to see how well they have done.

We have always stuck to the policy of using and building on what we've got in terms of our bank of skills and experience. Occasionally we give them a shake and see what else we can do with them. This is how we got into writing. Our first book, Solving Skills Shortages , was based on the notes for a series of management workshops we ran up and down the country in the mid- nineties.

We are proud of what we've achieved which has been all our own work. We have had no helping hands. Solving Skills Shortages was pulled from a publisher's slush pile. We did it the hard way!

We are not good team players. We have been self-employed for the last thirty years and we are too used to doing things our own way!

We love writing. It enables us to reach out to people in the way we have always done . Our readers are spread all over the world and our books have been translated into several different languages which gives us an extra special buzz. The real joy, though, comes from the feedback from people who have enjoyed reading our books or found them helpful. Being able to make a difference is what makes it all worthwhile.

The fight against the bullies is a central theme in the two crime thrillers we have written. The Silent Passage (2014) and Blood Ties which has just been published both highlight the plight of the bullied. Bullying is everywhere - ingrained in the fabric of our society - and the recent cases involving professional footballers serve to illustrate the devastating effect it can have.