I grew up in a chocolate-box village in England, but I read too many books about other places to appreciate it. I knew by the age of seven I wasn’t the type to stay in one place for long. I’d watch the planes fly over my house, then empty the moneybox and count the places I could go. Darn that sweet shop! So, I had to make up stories about the people on the planes instead.
Luckily, my dad loved to drive. I mean REALLY loved to drive. I’d seen a lot of Europe by the time I left the nest — mostly from the backseat of Dad’s car over the top of Mum’s beehive hairdo. Dad liked driving, not stopping—the beginnings of my rolling stone existence, maybe?
Horses became my teenage passport to the world. My skills with a pitchfork led to many foreign adventures in Europe, New Zealand and the United States. I eventually galloped right into the arms of my American-born husband. Who didn’t like horses. Or chocolate. Or suet pudding.
But we had one thing in common: he wasn’t very good at staying in one place either. We moved around a lot. How I ever found time to raise two children, study linguistics, get a master’s degree in speech-language pathology, and conduct autism research, I’ve no idea.
Three years ago, I left all that behind (except the being a mother bit) to become a full-time writer. I love writing as much as I love horses, gardening and Exmoor—the stunningly beautiful corner of England my soul considers home. I spend as much time there as I can, either in person or by writing about it.
I read voraciously and location is an important factor when I’m choosing a book. I relate to characters who seek adventure out there in the wide world, even as they long for home, or long to escape from home, or finally find home.
I know where my soul sleeps the best and breathes the deepest, and I’m working my way back there. But no matter where I am, I think about other places, just like that little girl who watched the planes fly overhead. If this sounds like you too, bon voyage!