I am currently a freelance writer, tutor and speaker. I have taught medieval, Tudor and Stuart History for the Workers’ Educational Association (W.E.A.) in Yorkshire following a career teaching various subjects in secondary schools, further education colleges and Sheffield Hallam University.
My first foray into public speaking was at Words by the Water – the Keswick Literature Festival in 2013. I spoke there again in 2014 about my second book which was all about Carlisle’s gallows through history. I have provided talks to local history societies on the Dissolution of the Monasteries in Yorkshire and also on the regional novelist Phyllis Bentley who brought the history of the West Riding of Yorkshire to a wider audience.
I have had a number of Literacy and Numeracy Resources published in association with the F.A. which led to me also writing eight books about school sports. This means that for a very brief time in my life I could explain the offside rule and hold a meaningful conversation about netball. This was followed by a specialist text on teaching adults Literacy. I also have a collection of short stories retelling the border ballads published by Bookcase in 2013 and a second book about the history of Harraby Hill in Carlisle 2014. The first collection is called Riding By Moonlight, Border Ballads of the West March Retold. The second book is called High Road to Harraby Hill. I am also fortunate enough to have seen my name in print in The People’ Friend, Woman’s Weekly and best. In addition I have written travel pieces with a historical slant for an ezine and written guided walks for several of England’s historic cities including York, Canterbury and Carlisle.
It’s been my goal to be a writer since I was eight-years-old. You could say that my journey to overnight success has been one filled with detours and the odd traffic jam but I’ve never stopped writing and who knows…I might even reach my destination eventually.
I have an honours degree in English and History from the University of Kent as well as an M.A. and assorted teaching qualifications. That first degree just about sums up my two passions: writing and history. I never could make my mind up which I liked best so in the end I’ve stopped trying and as this blog shows I’ve simply entwined the two. Most of my fiction is inspired by the history around me whether it’s my family history or the heritage of the places that I visit.
I’m always happy exploring castles, abbeys, stately stacks and museums. Other interests include walking, photography, embroidery, knitting, crochet, cutting silhouettes (which I once demonstrated to a WI group) and jam making to name but a few.