I was born in 1971 in Chester and raised in North Wales, though I lived for a couple of years in Cyprus before I started school, as my father was in the RAF. I had a very happy home life and although I am an only child, I was never lonely. My parents spent as much time with me as they could and when I needed to amuse myself, my favourite things to do were reading, drawing and writing stories.
I enjoyed going to school and loved learning right from the word go, always working very hard and trying my best, even at the subjects I didn't like. My ambitions when I was five were to be either an English teacher or a doctor when I grew up. As things turned out, I did become an English teacher as I wasn't a natural scientist. English was always my favourite subject and still is.
I didn't harbour a real desire to become a writer, though I did enter some story competitions as a teenager and had some stories published in our local newspaper. It was much later that the desire to write grew.
Having achieved a decent set of GCSEs and A-levels, I went to the University of York to study English Literature and had a super time there. I also enjoyed getting involved in different societies and activities, most notably jiving and The Gilbert and Sullivan Society, which united my love of acting and singing. It was through this society that I met my husband.
I came out with a very good degree and after a short period of uncertainty about what I wanted to do career-wise, I went back to my original plan, aged five, and decided to study to be a secondary school English teacher. I spent a year at the University of Durham and thereafter took up my first teaching post at a school in York, followed by my current job in Malvern three years later.
If you like your subject and you like children, then teaching is a good job to do. Seeing your pupils improve and grow to love your subject brings a lot of satisfaction. The holidays are also a bonus.
In my current job at a boarding school, I not only teach but am a form tutor and a boarding house tutor. It has been the time spent once a week in the boarding house, which has helped me along with my writing. The girls have listened to some of the stories I have written and encouraged me to write more.
I've already talked about meeting Tim, my husband, when I was at university, though we didn't marry until 1998. We have since had two sons, James and Alex, and also acquired some tropical fish a few years after that. We spend as much time together as we can and tend to enjoy playing tennis and badminton most of all. Everyone in the family is musical, so there's often the sound of one instrument or another being practised.
The major question I'm asked about writing is how I can manage to write at all, given that I teach full time and am raising a family. My answer to this is that you always find time to do the things you love and it is something which makes me really happy. I wrote my first rhyming story in 2007 and have never looked back.
I've experimented with a range of forms but most enjoy writing for children up to the age of about 7 in prose and verse, and devising short stories for women to read, some of which have been published in The People's Friend.
I'm a great believer in continuing to learn and over the years have completed an MA by Research and taken on two distance-learning writing courses, which have been invaluable in helping me to learn new skills.
Writing isn't always an easy process. Some pieces come easily, others require more effort, but it is immensely satisfying to finish a story and think, yes, that works.