My mother always claims I knew how to read before I went to school. Basically, I knew the words on the flash cards she showed me. It wasn’t long though before I was an avid reader. I have fond memories of going to my local library and taking piles of books home, most of them about horses.

Last Seen

Last Seen

I’m the youngest in my family and there’s a big gap with my older siblings. I used to play by myself a lot so my imagination kicked in big time. I was, and still am, a big day dreamer. This is a skill that’s very important in writing. Nowadays, I day dream about my stories and see them like scenes in a TV drama. I play them over and over again in my mind, changing details and dialogue until I have them right.

As a teenager I devoured Virginia Andrews and Flowers in the Attic was my first ‘dark’ read. I countered the darkness with teen romance novels, mainly the Sweet Dreams series. My first attempt at a novel (aged about fourteen) was a teen romance. I didn’t get very far. I also wrote song lyrics that I was convinced George Michael would put to music. They were as terrible as my teen romance.

My love of the Crime genre started from an early age and stemmed from TV rather than books initially. I adored watching Juliet Bravo, Hill St. Blues, Cagney and Lacey, The Bill, Colombo and Inspector Morse to name just a few. I don’t know why I was particularly drawn to police dramas. I then started to read the Inspector Morse books and discovered the genius of Colin Dexter.

In my twenties, I read the book that changed everything for me – Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell. In my opinion, it’s still the best Crime genre book I’ve ever read. The twist was simple but so unexpected. More than that, Kay Scarpetta was a revelation. It wasn’t just that everything was seen through her eyes but also the forensic detail. It’s great to see crime genre evolve as forensic science develops. Of course, it does mean you have to keep up to date!

As well as writing, I’ve also been blogging for the last five years and going to lots of crime writing events. This has been a great way to meet authors and readers and many have become friends. I’m an introvert so I don’t always find it easy to talk to people. But there’s something that’s really helped and I’m even a bit famous for it now – my triple chocolate cookies! It’s much easier to talk to someone as you offer them something to eat.

My Twitter bio is ‘Escaping the madness of motherhood through writing crime novels’. I’m a busy mum with three children. They take up a lot of my time but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It hasn’t always been easy though and writing has been my escape. I’ve been writing on and off for over twenty years but I don’t think I could have easily written novels when my children were younger. I’m in awe of authors who manage to juggle writing and small children. Mine are more independent now and writing full time has become possible. So, at the grand age of fifty, my debut novel, Last Seen, is being published.

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