“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.” (Arthur C. Clarke)
I am an award-winning published author and poet.
I began in the world of poetry, several of which were published, won first prize in a regional poetry competition and then shortlisted in a national competition run by a well-known and prestigious company., but novel-writing is my real passion. Working in several genres, my favourite being timeslips and the paranormal. Not the blood-sucking, toe-curdling vampire sort but of the unexplained and the mysterious, along the way creating the character of Filton Shields. Like Filton, I explore hauntings, supernatural phenomena and all things weird and wonderful and everything in between. So, I believe in ghosts, I hear you say. I do, but probably not in the way you might understand them.
The world over, reaching far back into history, tales and stories of the paranormal exist. Of ghosts, of fairies, of guardian angels, re-incarnation, and visitors from outer space and UFOs. Far too many for there not to be something “out there”. Fascinated by these stories, I take my characters on great adventures into the realms of the unknown, forever seeking out the truth, a scientific rationale, always searching for answers. Sometimes the answers elude us; often the answers astound.
Along with general women’s fiction, and self-help books (more on that to be announced in the future), I write recent historical stories set in the 1950s and 60s, bringing to life the music, social history and values of those eras.
In 2004, I was shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Prize, for the opening chapter of my novel Every Step of the Way. Not only was I dumbfounded but for the next year floated on a cloud, realising I was one step nearer reaching publication. The HB was and still is a well-respected prize specifically aimed at pre-published writers although winning doesn’t necessarily guarantee publication. In 2004 it was administered solely by the MBA agency, the entry criteria being the novel must set at least in part in London but could be in any genre. The first 10,000 words and synopsis were required.
I had already written the first three chapters of Every Step of the Way as a sequel to White Stones. It was set in London, its genesis being the killer smog of 1952, so thinking I might do better if I turned it into a saga, after all that’s what Harry Bowling wrote, I cobbled together a storyline. Once the synopsis was written, I thought, “Well, this actually is a good plot” and thus Every Step metamorphosed from a paranormal into a 1950s saga, centred in West London and Gloucestershire and explored the world of coffee bars and teddy boys, gang fights and the plight of women during that era.
I didn’t win but that didn’t matter, just being shortlisted was such a boost to my career and esteem. I jumped the slush piles and found a top literary agent willing to help me find a publisher but, unfortunately, at that time, it seemed publishers were unwilling to take a gamble on an unknown with a “slightly” different perspective on the genre. If it was based in the East End or in, say, Liverpool, it might have been taken up sooner but then my story wouldn’t work.
I later self-published Every Step of the Way, reaching the dizzy heights of no.3 on Amazon for its genre and excellent reviews. In 2020, Whites Stones was published, a romantic mystery concerning a haunting and introducing Filton Shields, an Unexplained Phenomena Investigator. Both books later received Chill With a Book Awards.
I am currently writing Filton Shield’s next case – When Two Worlds Collide, with more following, and a second 1950s London story, Queenie Queenie, is in progress.