A little bit about me

I am fifty years old (not a bad innings) and have been very happily married for twenty-three years. I have two wonderful children (most of the time!) and we live in Spain on the hot, dry east coast.

I have always written, mostly poetry and lyrics, but I started to write seriously when I finished studying for my Master's Degree in Teaching English. One of my assignments was to analyse the language used in a number of children's books. Nothing ground breaking there but it made me acutely aware of what works. At the same time I was reading for hours to my son and I often thought that the books we were reading weren't really up to it. "I think I can do better!" I thought to myself. So I sat down and came up with quite a lot of ideas for short stories and longer books. Before embarking on a full length book I decided it would be best to fire off some short stories thinking that it would be easy. How wrong I was! Short stories require more focus on detail, every sentence has to count. You can't have any old wood in there! This in fact stood me in good stead for when I started to write my first full length book. I've always been a bit of a perfectionist and good writing requires constant revision so I'm always going over what I've written making sure it sounds just right.

I don't find much time for writing – my work (I'm an English teacher) and family life take up most of my time. If I'm lucky it's about fifty minutes a day but I try to focus and make these precious minutes as productive as possible. In theory holidays should throw up more time but in actual fact it is the reverse. I tend to get involved with my children and make myself available whenever they need me. I'm not one to lock myself away knowing that I'm missing out on an opportunity to share time with my kids. You, of course, will never get that time back!

Have I got a favourite place to write? Many! It all depends on the time of the year. In the summer we live in the countryside and the perfect place for writing is under the gazebo, surrounded by all the shades of green that nature can offer. Unless, of course, my father-in-law comes along and starts chatting about this that and the other. I'm trying to persuade my wife to let me build a wooden hut (with air-conditioning) in a secluded part of the garden so that I can get a bit of peace and quiet, but first I'll have to sell a few books. That's the deal! During the rest of the year I write in the living room in our flat in the town, usually in the afternoon before my children come home from school when the light comes streaming in through the window from the west. There is one more place that really inspires me to write and that is the Costa Blanca Bar. I go there twice a week while waiting for my children's swimming classes to finish. The proprietor, Tony, leaves me to get on with my writing just providing me with a stimulating cup of white coffee now and then and the occasional pleasantry. I've promised him that if I make it big one day we'll have the book signing in his bar and put it on the map.