The Books

I've got about a bit, these last few years.

Here is my great book cover

What I didn't realise, when I first set off on my travels, was that few single, middle-aged women give up house, work and family to go round the world. I kept a diary for my personal use only, knowing I'd never remember it all without some sort of aide memoire.

Faced with that pile of notebooks, I flirted with the idea of playing with some of my experiences in short stories.

Then came a stroke of luck - I won a place on a creative writing mentoring scheme at Exeter University.

'Show me what you have', my mentor insisted. And then told me that I was at my strongest when writing about myself. Forget short stories, this is a memoir.

So I produced a draft memoir and showed him. 'Forget everything you've seen on the telly,' he said. 'And write about the rest of it.'

'But that means telling my daughters things I'd rather they didn't know.'

He raised his eyebrows. I told my daughters about the man with the gun in Lucknow ... and slowly Over the Hill took shape.

The Planter's Daughter.

When he read the final draft he told me that I'd have found a conventional publisher ten years ago. But now - as I'm not famous, nor did I cross the Saraha on a skateboard - it's unlikely. 'Do it yourself,' he said.

So I did.

And then it was time to pack the bags again, and head for the airport ...

That's how the travel writing began. But a novel ... that was a completely different journey. There has been enough written about the tribulations of novel-writing, and I don't plan to add to the genre. But I am, at last, hugely proud of The Planter's Daughter

You can find introductions to each book on its page. I hope you enjoy them.