I grew up on the Kent coast and the county is deep in my heart, though I also loved my time in New Zealand, where the people taught me so much. It's a country I'd love to write about one day. I also spent some years in Africa where I learned not to be afraid of spiders. The best I could manage for the locusts and flying dung beetles was to consider them from a very great distance. The sunny personalities of the African people will inspire me forever.

Africa dragged my love of writing to the surface. Living some forty miles from the nearest tarmac road and seventy from anything pretending to be a bookshop, I soon ran out of bedtime stories for the children. Scribbling began.

On returning to England, fiction had to take a back seat as real life took over. Then I came across YouWriteOn, a website for aspiring authors. From then on, I ring-fenced time to write for adults.