For me, the love of reading began at an early age, largely thanks to my mother who taught me before I went to school.
The story goes, I was sitting opposite my teacher in primary one. She was reading the paper and being curious (read ‘nosy madam’) I read it too. Except I read it from my desk, upside down. Thinking she would teach me a valuable lesson my teacher asked me to read one of the news pieces back to her and explain my understanding of what I’d just read. No problem! When I think back now, she must have thought I was a right little smarty pants. I do remember though, her restrained surprise and delight behind raised eyebrows. This girl can read.
A love of reading turned into a love of writing. I wanted to create worlds where I could escape and lose myself, take myself away from whatever was going on in my own world. I suppose looking back, I wanted to transform my reality. It started as apologetic poetry, again mainly to my mother, and grew into short stories delving into the quagmire of our brains and personality. I found I could write far more easily than I could express feelings verbally. For me, writing is a necessity to make sense of it all. That magical yet oftentimes awful mess we call life.
After receiving an unconditional offer from Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland, to study a Bachelor of Arts in Publishing and Editing, I thought my course was set, but ‘life’ intervened and my path took a different route. It took me 10 years to get back on that path and I was in my late 20’s before I found myself working in a publishing house – initially across a range of titles and then ‘hurra’ as Deputy Editor of an international natural health publication.
Clearly, I had a few life lessons to learn before I set upon that road. I learned that if you want something bad enough, no matter what obstacles you have to overcome, you’ll get there. Just put one foot in front of the other and keep going. The most important part of that is, you’ve got to want it.
The theme consistent with all my own writing is Transformation and I look for that in other writers – either they want to transform their own work or they write stories of transformation themselves.
I truly believe in the transformational power of words on the page, on the screen, in our minds and ultimately in our own healing and reality.