A little about me.

I’m originally a Lancashire lass, born in the industrial town of Rochdale. Most of my forebears were working class English, but my family also has a dash of Irish-Australian blood, a fact we were unaware of until after we migrated to Australia when I was twelve years old. I’m now an Australian citizen, married to another Australian of equally mixed origins, and have two grown up daughters.

My writing career

At school I was that strange kid who could hardly wait for the teacher to say “Here’s the topic for your next essay” or “I’d like you to write a short story”. My ability to write coherently helped me to pass exams. But the idea of writing as a career never entered my mind, and my parents would no doubt have dissuaded me from such a silly idea if it had. I eventually became a doctor. Even in medical school, however, my favourite assignments were those that involved writing essays, and over time I began to dream of becoming a writer.

When my two girls were both in primary school I enrolled in a writing course by correspondence. (Quaint, I know. Do such things still exist?) That gave me the start I needed to write articles for publication. The obvious choice was to write about health related topics, but  I’ve never focused solely on those.  At one stage I was writing weekly software reviews and “how to” articles for the computing section of a daily newspaper. Between bouts of employment as a doctor I worked as a pastoral care worker for my local church, and wrote (and continue to write) articles for the weekly church bulletin and other forums. I’ve dabbled in writing fiction but non-fiction is my forte. It allows me to combine my curiosity about the world and enjoyment of research with writing.

Why write a book about family history?

My interest in family history really took off when my parents were turning 70. As I discovered more about my forebears on both sides of the family, I began recording some of their stories in the form of a blog, Clogs and Clippers. My first book, Susan: convict’s daughter, soldier’s wife, nobody’s fool grew out of a series of articles I posted on the blog about my great great grandmother, Susan Mason, and her family. Susan was very different to me in personality and experience, and the book is partly my attempt to understand her and find some connection with her.

What next?

I have several books planned, some already half written. Once I’ve decided which of these to finish next, I’ll post more information here. If you would like to receive email updates, please fill in the “Follow by email” box on the front page. Do have a look around the rest of this site and visit my blogs.