A Scot born and bred, I made the unbelievably foolish mistake of thinking I’d make a good lawyer, and clung to that belief right through university, where to everyone’s astonishment, not least mine, I graduated with a degree in Scots Law. To the relief of the Scottish legal establishment I decided not to practice, and instead embarked on a lengthy, successful but ultimately unfulfilling career in IT, where I learned a lot about people and not very much about computers. In the twenty years it took me to escape, I studied with the Open University, gaining a first class honours and a masters degree in history, and much more importantly discovered an enduring passion for the subject.
I’ve always been a voracious reader, and I’ve always wanted to write (honestly, my IT Project Delivery meeting minutes were positively Shakespearian!). At the age of nine I won a national poetry competition. At the age of twenty-nine I submitted my first ever manuscript to Mills & Boon, a modern romance which, for those familiar with the output of the BBC, was a bit like Monarch of the Glen meets Gardeners’ Question Time. There was a memorable scene in a potting shed, I recall. And a lot of orchids. Needless to say, it was very politely declined.
Reaching the turning-point age of forty, my life changed dramatically in a number of ways, and I took the plunge and decided to pursue my dream of writing for a living. It was difficult and very, very hard work but I loved it. I wrote anything and everything at first, articles for the local paper, travel, recipes, and lots and lots of history. Then I started writing short stories. And then I submitted another modern romance to Mills & Boon. A French froth, this time, and I received the same polite rejection letter. My next attempt, featuring a charismatic celebrity chef with revenge in his heart, went the same way. Finally, I thought (light bulb moment) you love history, you love romance, why not write a historical romance? So I did and HURRAH, Mills & Boon said yes!
I’d love to say the rest is history, but it’s more like a work in progress. When I’m not writing, thinking about writing, or angsting about not writing, I go for walks. Here in my native Argyll, there’s no shortage of two things, scenery and rain - just look at the view from my window. I also love to cook and eat and am extremely partial to a vodka martini. And because I love to drink martinis and eat, I have learned to love pilates (or more accurately, I have learned to love the effect of pilates).
Still want to know more? Read how I go about my writing (with a few digressions) here.