What a life I’ve lived so far! Where to start to make a coherent representation of my adventures? I think there will be numerous edits of this bio.
Here we go: Sydney, Australia was my first home abroad. I was a Qantas flight attendant for a brief moment.
Back home in New Zealand, I decided I would join the military. And although I never actually did, I was their poster girl.
From the sunny climate of New Zealand, I arrived on the shores of Kenya, East Africa, in a 28ft yacht. From there I travelled Europe, although my home was firmly in Kenya. I contracted cerebral meningitis from swimming downstream of the local prison. This was in Mtwapa Creek where the yacht was anchored. The water was foul, but in my ignorance each morning I dived/slipped/fell off the side of the yacht. So the meningitis stopped me in my tracks for many years. I got about like a hedgehog for a while, but then I surpassed myself and had 2 emergency caesareans, one without anaesthetic or pain relief. And for some obscure reason I was arrested for treason, but that's another story...
About My Writing:
As you will soon see, I write in several genres. Sometimes historic fiction, and sometimes humour. Normally I am writing three books at the same time, so whatever mood suits the moment is the title I work on. Writing in several different genres comes quite naturally to me so I can flip-flop between them. I write for pleasure, primarily, and of course for my readers, but mainly I write for myself. My work comes from my heart. And although I love to write, write, write, the IT side of things has me stalled. What frustration, I go through.
I am constantly drawing on my international travels, work within the New Zealand tourism industry, and my work in various psychiatric hospitals in New Zealand.
I lived in Kenya, East Africa, for some years where I began my little family.
Along with writing, I am also an editor, proof reader, beta reader and book reviewer. If it's about books, I'm in there.
2012 I was awarded the New Zealand Creative Arts Awards for my writing.
For the past 25 years, I have been head down and writing. To begin with I managed an old word processor and used more correction tape than ink. Then came the grey beast with the floppy discs; more technology to tax my brain when all I wanted to do was write. So I loaded that thing up with 27 books, mostly set in my beloved Kenya. And I learned to back-up everything. Sadly, that machine was soon outdated and my newer computer only accepted small hard discs. I was stymied. I took both the floppies and the computer to a computer shop, expecting they would make it all right for me. But no... They explained, gently (in light of my facial expression?), that all my stuff was now obsolete. Then they proceeded to slowly explain what that meant. 'Replaced by modern technology. Would you like to upgrade to another computer, Madam?' No, thank you. I packed my crusty old grey back into the car, along with the floppy discs, and I drove home. The top shelf in a cupboard is where it languished for the next few years.
Meanwhile, I regressed to paper and pen. But I still wrote. I wrote about everything. I eavesdropped in cafes, bus stops, and restrooms. And I jotted on scraps of paper, napkins, and even my knee, myriad details concerning the current characters: what they wore, their shape, the words they uttered. Although I write from personal experience, I use the anecdotal information from conversations and other peoples' stories, resulting in my characters taking on a life of their own. I enjoy a wide variety of personalities (and I know how that sounds!) so as I write their stories, my characters will often lead me to places I couldn't imagine. I relax and let them form as they will.
One day, all my Kenyan stories were restored to me by an IT guru, who I later married. Well, I needed some form of insurance, didn't I? Michael rescued my stuff, sorted it, and tucked it away safely on backup machines (which in turn have been superseded).
So am I addicted to story telling? I think so, but in my defence, written words are my only addiction.
My books contain real-life people, and occasionally dogs. I do include arrogant types, because life would not be life without those people dotted throughout it. And although there are testing times ahead for my characters, there is generally a 'happily ever after' for man, woman and beast.
I don't write graphic sex scenes; I leave that to the experts. I prefer to explore the raw emotions of happiness, terror, desperation, disappointments and anger in my characters because that’s what life is about. Or at least that’s what the life I write about is about. My characters are more often than not pushed to the extreme, but have a remarkable resilience to call on. They have that special Kiwi-Can-Do New Zealand attitude and they are inspirational beings. But, boy, oh boy, are they tested! I just hope I have a good balance of life-drama, suspense, horror, intrigue, humour and happiness.