I was born in the Australian outback but grew up in Melbourne. The daughter of a nurse and an army officer, my earliest ambitions were to be a writer or actress. My exclusive education at St Michaels Grammar School was wasted because I spent my days dreaming. Most of the final year at school was spent furtively writing a novel in the back of the classroom. Set on the German occupied Island of Jersey during World War II it was the first attempt at writing fiction.
When I was seventeen I began having singing lessons from Gertrude Johnson, the charismatic founder of the National Theatre. After three years at The National Theatre Opera School, I knew my voice was not good enough to become a professional opera singer. Nevertheless Gertrude Johnson had left a profound impression on me. The seeds of my first novel Vissi d’arte took root.
Disappointed about not being able to follow a singing career, I went to Europe and spent a year travelling. Five years later I returned to Australia, but was unable to settle. Feeling my destiny lay in England, I returned in 1983. I began working for The National Health Service, while attending part time drama school at Questors Theatre in Ealing.
In 1985 I married, Peter, an architect, in the ancient church of St Peter’s in Petersham. We joined the Richmond Writers’ Circle in 1997 and I became the chairman eighteen months later. Along with four others in the circle I founded The Writers’ Room, a performance group, which gives poets, writers and singers an opportunity to showcase their work.I have since writen five more novels all self published. One of which has now been accepted by a publisher to be professionally published in November 2018. We moved from Richmond to Liskeard in east Cornwall in 2009 from where I now write full time and volunteer for The National Trust at the beautiful Lanhydrock House and gardens near Bodmin Cornwall.
I always knew I was adopted and that my adopted mother was really my aunt, and that my biological father was her brother. I didn’t know who my biological mother was. Having been brought up as a lonely only child it came as a shock to discover in 2010 that I was one of eight children. My sister found me on Face Book and we were reunited two years later when she and her husband visited England. We are writing a book about our lives and the amazing discovery of a new family.