Novelist, poet (think Wendy Cope and Dorothy Parker not T S Eliot) and writer for TV, radio and magazines
'Revenge of the Ten Pound Poms' - Latest novel available on Amazon
'Why Dorothy Wordsworth is not as famous as her brother and other poems' Available on Amazon.
'Love them. Don't know where you can send them. Cosmopolitan?'
That was Pete Townshend's response to the batch of poems I sent him - he'd just got into publishing at the time - a break from all that guitar-smashing presumably. Most of my poems were funny observations on sex but a few were about rock stars so he'd seemed a better bet than your average publisher. As he turned out to be.
When I sent them to Cosmopolitan they bought them all and they appeared in Cosmo in the UK, USA and Australia for over 10 years.
I also started writing features for Cosmo and have gone on to write for other women's magazines in the UK (including She, Good Housekeeping, Psychologies). In the USA I wrote for fitness and parenting magazines and was contributing editor on Redbook for 3 years.
After one of the poems, 'Why Dorothy Wordsworth is not as famous as her brother' appeared in a national newspaper I was interviewed on Radio 4's Woman's Hour. An editor from Simon & Schuster was listening and went on to commission three novels, Immaculate Misconceptions, Premature Infatuation and Reading Between the Lies (which is currently being adapted as a musical). Since then my poem 'Why Dorothy Wordsworth' has appeared in numerous anthologies, been broadcast on BBC2 and Radio 4, included in coursework for A Level and HM Prisons, and set to music by a composer in the USA. Did I mention that broadcaster Dame Jenni Murray wrote a critique of it, and England goalkeeper Joe Hart analysed it in an essay for his degree? Thank you, Pete Townshend!
'Why Dorothy Wordsworth is not as famous as her brother and other poems' is available on Amazon (there's a link at the top of the page).
As a comedy writer I've written for TV and radio shows with actor Llewella Gideon (well known as the beautician from Absolutely Fabulous and as Aunt Bessie in Steve McQueen's 'Small Ax'. We met when I was writing for a BBC comedy sketch show, The Real McCoy, which she appeared in alongside Meera Syal, Robbie Gee and Eddie Nestor. Originating from an initiative of Lenny Henry's, it was the first British multiracial sketch show of its kind, was hugely popular, and ran for several years. When Llewella was asked to write a series for Radio 4 based on her one woman show, Little Big Woman, she invited me to write it with her. The Little Big Woman Radio Show, charting the struggling career and love-life of an out of work actress, ran for three series. We went on to write for several TV shows as well as a sitcom pilot for the BBC directed by Jon Plowman. The sitcom was destined never to see the light of day though people thought it was very funny - but sadly not the ones holding the purse strings. We should've gone to Netflix!
It was as the result of the poems that I was contacted by a literary agent to write a novel. I went on to write three, all published by Simon & Schuster. My latest novel is very different. It's based on something that actually happened and concerns a family who emigate to Australia in the 1950s. Nothing was as expected and Rose, the feisty and fearless matriarch, was determined that none of their relatives in England should hear of the desperate things that were befalling them. One event was to prove even harder to conceal than the rest, but also more vital. Every family has its secret and this was theirs.
'Revenge of the Ten Pound Poms' is available now. Here's the link: Amazon
Click on the left to see some of the poems or read something about the novels. Or have a look at a feature on happiness which appeared in Redbook magazine in the USA and prompted their most enthusiastic reader response ever. (I hope that means lots of readers liked it, not just one going mental.)
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org