My parents and seven older siblings always assumed I would become an author because I spent most of my time either reading or daydreaming. This was quite handy as I could tell them I intended to write a family saga and threaten anyone who annoyed me with being portrayed in a very unflattering light.
Instead I became a science teacher and taught for many years at large comprehensives in both London and Glasgow. My first foray into writing was a 40,000 word manuscript written in long hand about a woman abandoned by her lover who goes on to exact terrible revenge. So, no prizes for guessing who had just been dumped by her boyfriend then, but hey it beats stalking. Needless to say this effort ended up in the dustbin.
Later, not content with having spent most of my life working with teenagers, and then living with my very own teenage daughter, it seemed only natural to write about one too and so Kelly Ann, the heroine of my first novel My Desperate Love Diary, was born.
Random House published My Desperate Love Diary in 2005. It’s a humorous look at teenage angst and first love which tells the story of fifteen year-old Kelly Ann’s frantic attempts to win the love of ‘G’ – the biggest idiot in school – with some hilarious consequences.
I’m pleased to say Kelly Ann’s embarrassing antics have proved hugely popular so since then I’ve written another three Kelly Ann diary books: My Now or Never Diary, My Dating Disasters Diary, and the latest My Rocky Romance Diary.
Like parents, authors shouldn’t have favourites and I don’t. However the book that I most enjoyed writing was Jumping to Confusions. It is another teenage comedy romance but with different characters this time and features more teenage mayhem in a plot as twisted as a Curly Wurly.
Whilst I’ve recently hung up my Bunsen burner in favour of writing I still enjoy talking to young people but now focus on topics like creative writing as well as the publishing process and have promised not to mention the periodic table at these discussions again unless asked. Honestly.
As for the future, my ambition is to become a rich, famous author sipping pink champagne in the Maldives and giving the odd interview to the media…. until then I’ll content myself with drinking Irn Bru in rainy Glasgow and working on my next novel…. Hmm, yes, perhaps a family saga after all.