I love talking about my work, my passions, my experiences, and most especially my writing…but I HATE talking about myself. So here goes…Originally from a sleepy village north of Bristol, I currently live in the Cotswolds with my family and my four enormous white wolves!
I am a writer, traditionally trained fine artist and am an illustrator for HarperCollins, Penguin Random House and other publishers. I am also a shortlisted nominee for the 2018 British Fantasy Awards in the Best Artist category! Yay!!!! 😀 I have a BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art with a specialism in painting, sculptural ceramics and photography and a Post-Grad in teaching. I was a full-time teacher for 16 years and am now a librarian. However, my first passion has always been for painting and writing stories and poetry, which I have done since I was a child – basically as soon as I could grapple with a pencil! I am a painter and artist, and divide my time between writing, teaching and my artwork. I adore travelling (when I get the chance), and have a deep affinity and profound love of landscapes, particularly those of New Zealand and Dartmoor, which I find incredibly inspiring.
I enjoy stargazing, playing chess, watching films (especially sci-fi & fantasy) and buying yet more bookcases for my growing library! I would describe myself as a ‘lover of wild places and the written word’ and am a bit of a self-confessed nerd! I have wildly eclectic tastes in music from opera to heavy rock, classical to Motown. I love exploring museums and art galleries and am interested in ancient history, archaeology, astronomy, anthropology, fantasy, chess, films, natural history, science fiction, etymology, geology, geography, photography etc etc etc! In fact, when asked what my interests are, I usually smile and reply, “EVERYTHING!”
My motto for life is: “First, do no harm!” – Having unfortunately known some truly evil people in my life who destroy everything they touch, it’s a very good motto to live your life by!
Accordingly, my advice for life is: Avoid toxic people – life is too damn short to do anything else! 🙂
Unusual facts?: I’ve nearly died at least three times, once by drowning, once by near decapitation (obviously it was a close shave, so to speak, but I’m still here!), and once in a motorway crash.
I am somewhat of a walking contradiction, loud, quiet, bubbly, shy, social yet a hermit, intelligent about everything but not what’s important, complicated, simple, a perfectionist but messy, fiercely brave in protecting others but a coward when sticking up for myself, a tigress, a doormat, an optimist, a cynic…What can I say? A blend of very silly and sensible!
Without getting too personal here…I’ve witnessed a lot of violence growing up, which has certainly influenced the darker elements of my work. However, my fiction tends to be pure fantasy escapism, my saviour in bad times. When you cannot claw your way out of your reality, you can grow wings and soar instead!
So…that’s me! 😀