Although I was always keen on 'composition' at school, my first formal writing was for The Royston Crow, a broadsheet local newspaper. From age thirteen, for several years, I wrote the weekly pop column which I called "Disc-covery"; I was well up to date with the scene as I spent Saturdays as the record salesperson in my parents' TV/bike/pram/record shop. Now and then I would dare to ask the editor for payment, and he would usually give me five pounds.
Since then my credits include:
Features for parents on aspects of child development, as well as others on health, vegetarianism, slimming, stopping nail-biting, the paranormal, postcards and travel, and have dabbled in light-hearted agony aunt advice.
A while back I took AS level Drama & Theatre Studies at evening class. One part was for the group - only four of us - to write, produce, direct and act a half-hour play, including lighting, sound - everything. We had five scenes, of which I wrote three; we had humour, pathos, tension and dramatic resolution. I also took responsibility for the lighting decisions. And I got an 'A'!
I am a contributing writer to suite101.com, an online writers' 'showcase' of features of 400-800 words with specific standards for content on an eclectic mix of topics.
On the fiction front, early credits include a prize-winning short story read on local radio by an actor, a highly commended short story in a large-circulation south coast paper, and a couple of short stories in women's national magazines. A national parenting magazine published my short story (first in a series) to be read aloud to pre-schoolers.
More recently I have moved into writing dark short stories, following an online course a few months ago. Since then I've had stories featured in various anthologies with more on the way, and some have been listed, commended or placed in writing competitions. Nineteen stories have been gathered into a self-published collection now available as a paperback or an ebook - Bottles and Pots. Also published is my first novel for children, Millie the Detective and the Diamond Ring. I'm planning to follow up both of these, with a new short story collection and another case for Millie.