Becoming an author...
I can't imagine a world without books, and have always been an avid reader. Noddy may have been my first literary hero, but I soon progressed via Just William, the Famous Five and the Secret Seven to historical fiction, satire, biographies and autobiographies, magical realism, histories... and lots more. If I start naming my favourite authors, the list will become long and unwieldy and I will inevitably leave out someone who is really important to me! So, let's just start with one, someone who is of the utmost relevance to me and this website, and she is the incomparable Jane Austen.
Despite the fact writing has been a huge part of my professional life, I never thought I would be reading my very own novel! But the idea for What Kitty Did Next came into my head, and just wouldn't go away. I'm very glad it did, and hope you like following her adventures as much as I liked creating them. I have the novelist bug now and am looking forward to further literary journeys - not just in Regency London, but in Tudor England, as well. Forsooth...
"Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale"
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN
What Kitty Did Next
If you love Pride and Prejudice as much as I do, you'll want to find out What Kitty Did Next. Elizabeth has Darcy, Jane has Bingley, Lydia has Wickham. So what happened to poor, overlooked Catherine Bennet. Was she really as stupid as her father said? Really that ignorant? I didn't think so! There is only one Jane Austen. I know that, but I had to tell this story... and all I can do is crave the incomparable Miss Austen's indulgence and invite you to come back into Kitty's world. She has a lot to learn...
A little bio...
I was born in London and lived there till 1982 when I went travelling, fell in love, and ended up in Papua New Guinea for eight years. As you do. I have lived in Sydney since 1990.
My career began in London, first of all in the music industry working for record companies, and later at the now disappeared London Design Centre. I love London, but I also love travelling so a backpacking trip from England to Australia, culminating in a year's working holiday in Sydney seemed a fine idea. And it was, but I didn’t imagine I’d marry, live and work in Papua New Guinea! It was a wonderful experience though, and for a while (with no experience whatsoever) I was the operations manager for a large helicopter company in the Eastern Highlands. Later, when we moved to Bougainville, I gloried in the title of managing editor and publisher of the Arawa Bulletin, the island’s community newspaper.
I finally arrived in Sydney in 1990 and from then until 2013, held various positions at the national newspaper, The Australian, during which time I must have edited billions of other people’s words while also contributing my own stories on the arts, fashion and travel. Theatre is also a passion of mine so I was delighted when the Sunday Telegraph asked me to be their theatre reviewer. I no longer write for that paper but I do still go to the theatre regularly and air my views on a website called megaphoneoz. And I now write for my own amusement, and hopefully yours!!
Coming to the Australian launch in Sydney?
Book Group deals...
NEWS, EVENTS, IDEAS
Getting ready for the Australian launch of What Kitty Did Next
in Sydney's Newtown at Better Read Than Dead on
Wednesday 29 August. RSVP here:
Check out the Red Door link for more details about the book! It's available online everywhere and in Australian and US bookshops by the end of August. Check out these reviews on GoodReads.com
Want to read What Kitty Did Next in your book group? Red Door are offering special prices to book groups. Email Red Door for details.
WORK IN PROGRESS
Writing What Kitty Did Next meant heaps of research about life in Regency London, a fascinating time of change and progress. It also gave birth to another idea. I hope to introduce you to Rose Adams (Henry's sister) next year. She lives in London in 1814; she's beautiful, intelligent and has married very well. She has it all. So why is she so very discontent? I'll let you know as soon as I have it all sorted out!
WORK IN PROGRESS
Meet Thomas Wyatt, poet, courtier, diplomat. spy. Yes, really! Wyatt lived in one of the most tumultuous and dangerous times in England's history, during the reign of Henry VIII. He is widely suspected of being a lover of that unfortunate queen, Anne Boleyn. But was he? She was certainly a muse, but she was not the only lady to find a place in Wyatt’s heart. And as we all know, Anne Boleyn lost her head; how did Wyatt keep his? His is a fascinating story, and I am working on it!