Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself...
I live in Swansea, South Wales with my partner Mark and until recently our amazing Border collie Millie. Sadly, we had to say good bye to her on May 2nd this year after being with the family for almost 15 years. She has left an almighty void in our lives, Millie was dearly loved. Sadly our “perfect girlie” didn’t get to see “Millie Finds a Feather” published however, I’m glad to say she saw the proof copy and she most definitely approved. I started work in the Civil Service at the age of 17 and after 42 years I thought it was time to close that chapter and move on to the next, so last September I retired and I love every minute of it.
What attracted you to publishing with Rowanvale?
When I decided that I wanted to write a children’s book I had no idea about publishing or which publisher I should use. A friend of mine was promoting her sister’s recently published book on Facebook. I contacted her to ask for advice and was given a glowing report about Rowanvale. This convinced me that Rowanvale would do my book justice.
Outside of writing and/or reading, what do you like to do with your spare time?
As I have so much more time now that I have retired I am able to indulging in two of my other passions, gardening and photography. The coastline around Swansea is one of the most beautiful in the world. Sadly I can’t say the same about the weather however; it doesn’t stop me visiting local beauty spots with my camera and of course Millie used to come too. Retirement has resulted in my garden looking the best it has ever been. One of my projects was to create a space in one section of the garden to encourage more wildlife and it has worked brilliantly. The small Spinney has received many visitors including a Great Spotted Woodpecker , Mistle Thrushes and some very cheeky squirrels just to mention a few.
Did you ever think you would be a published author? If yes, why? If not, why?
When my daughter was young as well as reading her bedtime stories I would also make stories up for her, which she enjoyed just as much as reading stories from a book. There were times when I thought how lovely it would be to have a story book published, so I think it had always been at the back of my mind but I didn’t quite think it was a reality, until now.
What was the most exciting part of the publication process?
I found the whole experience of publication exciting but the day the proof copy dropped through the letterbox was “off the scale”. To witness all the hard work finally having come together was just amazing.
What was the most difficult thing about publishing your novel?
As I have zero talent where illustrating is concerned it took time to achieve the exact effect that I had in my mind. I trawled through old photographs of Millie as a puppy and did my utmost to produce accurate descriptions of how the other animals should be illustrated. And lots of credit to Rebeckah she has provided the most fantastic set if illustrations the result is completely as I envisaged.
What’s your favourite novel or poem and why?
I love anything which involves history and” A Woman of Substance” by Barbara Taylor Bradford includes 20th Century detail along with a family saga full of twists and turns. The book is impossible to put down and Barbara Taylor Bradford completely draws you in to every single page.
Now you’re a published author, do you have any other goals for the remainder of 2021?
As I’ve mentioned earlier I spent a lot of time reading with my daughter, I feel it is an important part of childhood. So I really hope that “Millie Finds a Feather” will bring lots of fun to reading times. I do have an idea for two follow up stories, so who knows maybe there will be more “Millie Finds” books on the horizon soon.
What’s one thing you’ve learnt from your time as a writer?
The one thing I have learnt from my time as a writer is to be patient. My partner and my family would tell you I am not renowned for my patience. But it is something I am going to have to work on if I intend to continue writing.