The story so far…
I leave school wanting to be a writer, so I work for my local newspaper the Wrexham Leader. My job is to answer the phone, write small ads and construct In Memoriams. I sometimes design the Gypsy Jean page which offers free advertisements for anything under ten pounds. The writing part of it is a bit – well, light. After a couple of years I change direction and go to art school. This is a lucky plot twist because it leads me to meet my hero, Paul. Unfortunately after a few months together he leaves for Australia. Using my new-found knowledge of love and heartbreak I start writing Readers True Experiences for DC Thompson magazines. But like all good love stories, this one has a happy ending. I go to see him in Australia and we get married.
Back in the UK we move to London and I join the Romantic Novelists Association as a New Writer and begin writing novels. By this time Paul and I have a son, Joe. The New Writer’s Scheme is supportive, helpful and encouraging (as you would expect from an association that deals in love). In response to an advert in the RNA Newsletter, I send a story to a production company and it is made into a film, Torchwood. (But not that Torchwood.) An agent, Judith Murdoch, knows the film producer. She takes me on and my first novel is published by HarperCollins, wins the RNA New Writers’ Award and gets into the WH Smith Fresh Talent promotion.
Two books later I join the RNA committee as Press and PR Officer (those years at the Wrexham Leader came in handy after all). I become secretary and then RNA Chairman. After this, in a swift plot reversal, I decide to go back to uni to do an MA in Prose Fiction. Out of this comes the idea of acknowledging ‘the sounds that were always in our ears’. So, using Welsh legends in a contemporary setting I write and publish Holy Bones and Ava Jones for the children’s market. To determine the age group that it’s suitable for, I ask a deputy head teacher to read it and she invites me to meet a group of good readers in a book-loving school in St Albans where I am now Writer in Residence.
…to be continued
And for Welsh-speakers:
Yn Rhiwabon y magwyd Norma. Ar ôl gadael Ysgol Rhiwabon bu’n gweithio yn Swyddfa’r Wrexham Leader. Symudodd i Lundain gyda’i gwr Paul ac mae ganddyn nhw un fab, Joe. Nid yw trin a thrafod geiriau yn beth dieithr i’r teulu – brawd i hen, hen daid Norma oedd Henry Lloyd (Ap Hefin) Aberdar; argraffydd, golygydd Tarian y Gweithiwr cyhoeddwr ac awdur yr emynau ‘I bob un sydd ffyddlon’ ac ‘Arhosaf yng nghysgod fy Nuw.’