Introduction

Have you ever longed to be a writer - to write a novel or your own story, or articles for magazines?

I did too, for many, many years.
And I did try. At the age of ten I began a book about our farm holidays; later I organised a story club at school - and wrote much of a children's adventure that never located a mystery! In my twenties and thirties I wrote short allegories as a means of exploring friendship; in my forties turned to memoir-type articles about aspects of my spiritual journey. I sometimes wrote poems, and I'd have liked to write a novel but could never think of a plot! People would ask if I had ever thought of becoming a writer. Yes, I had ... I just didn't know what to write.

When the mood was upon me words and ideas poured out ... but if I organised myself and set aside time to write, my creativity immediately dried up and turned to frustration and discouragement. I continued to long to be a writer and at least maintained a personal journal and a healthy correspondence.

In 1999 two significant things happened: I was given a computer and I was invited to a Cousins' Reunion. Inspiration took hold of me to write that long-dreamed-of farm holiday memoir. At last I had a project with a deadline. I finished in good time. I photostatted copies for my siblings and cousins (with plenty photographs) ... and the feedback was delightful. At last I'd broken through a barrier. From then on ALL I wanted to do was write. One day my heart cried out to God with those very words and, remarkably, the very next day, someone suggested I write a memoir for a couple whose commissioned biographer had let them down. I listened, open mouthed ... and courageously offered myself.

And that was how I came to spend the next four and a half years researching and writing a 350-page biography, Beyond Fear, which was published in 2003 and sold successfully.

During those four and a half years a writing lifestyle had become established in me. I had also begun to run memoir-writing workshops ... which led to monthly writers' retreats - to which fiction and non-fiction writers came and also poets - and the Kenilworth Writer's Circle was born.

I have subsequently become a professional copy editor, run short courses on 'Longing to Write' (getting in to writing), 'The Hero's Journey' and 'Characterisation and the use of the Enneagram for Writers', and mentored people one-on-one. In 2008 I began to lecture extra-mural Journalism at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. I thoroughly enjoy teaching writing craft and facilitating a person's search for their personal writing genre.

I live with my husband in a large community home in Kenilworth, and have four children, all married, and ten grandchildren - in Cape Town, Durban and Canada.