I was always a writer. While other kids were out playing, I was sitting in some quiet corner putting my vivid imagination on paper. I fleetingly considered a career in writing, but opted for my other love – teaching. I attended the University of Newcastle and came out with a double major in History (my passion) and a minor in English Literature.
I then went on to teach these subjects in High Schools across the Australian state of NSW. Those years were some of the hardest and the most rewarding of my life.
The five years I spent in a little outback town called Walgett (fifty miles south of the opal mining town of Lightning Ridge) were certainly some of the most memorable.
I’ve entertained many people with my tales of snakes slithering across my bedroom doorway, chasing ‘roos on the back of a dirt bike, ‘mud-running’ along black-dirt tracks, trying to get my car out onto the tar after a little rain, and going to work in an emergency services dingy when everything within fifty miles was under water. Australia, need I mention here, is a land of extremes. For years we can be in drought, and then when it finally rains, it floods.
When I left teaching to become a mum, I started writing more seriously. The first draft of Liquid Fire was written at this time, between childcare demands. Then, when my son was old enough for preschool, I was offered work in a medium security male prison. Here, I taught personal development, managed an aboriginal culture program, and later, worked as a Drug and Alcohol counsellor. I worked there for more than four years. I briefly explored that area of my life in Shared Souls, where the hero, Travis, had been in prison for 14 years.
No amount of TV prison shows can really convey what it’s like in prison. I often compared my time working Inside with what it must be like to go to a war zone, and then coming home to ordinary life. I felt cut off from the everyday, the intensity and challenge of being Inside making other experiences seem superficial and bland. State-wide riots saw the system become more regimented and restrictive after that, and so, reluctantly, I made the decision to leave.
During the time I was Inside, I was also studying Astrology and setting up an alternate bookshop. I have often wondered at this shift in direction because, although I loved reading and writing books, I had no desire to sell them. But by that stage, I was taking direction from what I call my Higher Self, and so when it said start a book shop, and proceeded to put all the pieces in place to make that happen, I did what I was directed. A few weeks after we opened our doors, the huge earthquake that flattened much of Newcastle took place. Amongst the destruction was the only other New Age book shop within a hundred miles. To me that explained everything! There needed to be an outlet for the burgeoning growth in New Age interests in the area at the time. With the only one about to be flattened, another needed to be put in its place quickly. I got the job!
After I left the prison I had another child, another boy, and I became a professional astrologer for a few years, while Mat grew up a bit. During that time, I set up and became the founding president of the Hunter branch of the Federation of Australian Astrologers.
Then I gained a position as a College lecturer, and I packed my family up and moved to the far north coast of New South Wales. It wasn't long before I found myself promoted to Head of my Faculty, and the pressures of a disabled son (my eldest boy, Chris) and work responsibilities led to the breakdown in my 20 year marriage.
Next came the major turning point in my life. On the day my eldest son died suddenly, from an epileptic seizure, (he was 20 at the time) I was diagnosed with breast cancer. During this time I wrote and published Labyrinth of Light. (Some of my experiences during this time I included in The Way Home, a ghost story I started writing soon after coming to England).
My quick recovery seemed to have been assisted by my writing, during that period. So I started researching the subject of writing for healing. I was flabbergasted to discover certain kinds of writing had been proven to improve the immune system. No wonder I bounced back so fast and so fully! I was then given permission to design an on-line writing course for my Institute around my research findings. The results of those courses were gratifying. When I left my job, I designed a similar course for my coaching clients. This proved just as successful.
By the time the dust had settled in my life I was breastless and redundant (voluntarily so), and I was ready for my next new challenge.
After spending time creating a spiritual board game called Psyche's Key, I looked at my bucket list and decided a working holiday in Britain was on the cards. I took a job as a teacher in Essex, lasted 2 weeks because I was ethically opposed to the English school system, but found I wasn't ready to come home. I worked in a variety of positions until my Higher Self gave me the word to move north to Yorkshire, the birthplace of my father. Suddenly, for the first time in my life, I felt I was really home. And instead of the six months I initially planned to stay, I have now been here more than six years. My son Mat still lives in Australia- he's studying Fine Arts Photography at my old University, and not seeing him often, is hard. But technology is a wonderful thing, and I sometimes think I hear from him as often as I would if I was living up the street.
With the advent of Kindle ebook publishing, my interest in publishing my writing became more serious. I’d received great reviews for Labyrinth of Light, and yet I’d only published one other novel since then - the historical romance Liquid Fire. My time, instead, had been taken up with my coaching practise, Psyche’s Key, and my project work with charities in the North Yorkshire area. But by the end of 2010, the time was right, and I became obsessed with the vision of New Atlantis, the utopian future of our planet. This world seemed to touch more than just me, and so I continued to write additional books in the series until the circle was completed with the Prequel .
In many ways, I feel as if my life has come full circle, too. I started writing as a child, and now, toward the end of my career, I return to writing. Once more my inner world has become more important than my outer, and I’m invigorated by it. I sit in my lovely little flat overlooking Bronte country, as I write, and I give thanks for this newest stage in my career.
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