About my writing
I write prose fiction, both short stories and novels.
I grew up in an old house in Northumberland where the bookshelves were still full of Edwardian children’s books. I was an avid reader and devoured the Children’s Encylcopedia, Grimms Tales, Struwelpeter, the Adventures of Robin Hood, Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books – Blue, Green, Crimson and many more. The Convent I attended added a Catholic perspective with the Life of St Bernadette and many more miracle stories. Another special favourite of that time was Philip Woodruff’s 1940s collection of medieval tales, The Sword of Northumbria. When I was exiled to boarding school I turned story-teller and kept the dormitory awake at night with my sagas.
Now, so many lives later, having moved back close to my childhood home, I have started telling stories again. When I started to explore the history of Anglo-Saxon Northumbria and of its favourite saint and his community, I discovered a rich vein of fascinating and little-known traditions. I felt they had to be told.
A preoccupation in my writing is to do with the liminal – with thresholds between past and present, between the immanent world and the transcendent. I am interested in the way the distant past continues to be present to us today, and in the spiritual presence of place. In the lives of my characters, I seek to focus on dreams, insights and experiences that transcend the apparently mundane rhythms of life.