I think I have always wanted to write. As a child the only thing I ever won was a Children’s Story Competition run by my school.
I have never forgotten that moment of wonderful amazement, when, with no expectations, I heard my name read out. Sadly, or perhaps luckily, that story, which as far as I can remember involved, mice, a rocket and the moon, is long since lost.
Later however, in my ‘not so academic’ career my English reports frequently contained comments such as ‘Angela obviously has a future in writing for women’s magazines.’ I have always taken that as a compliment, though I’m afraid it might not have been intended as such.
For many years I taught children with Dyslexia in Oxford. However I now spend much of my time at home on our smallholding just outside Wallingford. I live here with my husband Ian, a ridiculous number of dogs, a cat, 16 chickens, and a ‘large’ flock of pedigree Cotswold sheep – as Cotswolds are a ‘rare breed’ anything over 19 is called a ‘large flock’!
As both the children are grown up and living away from home – there is really no excuse now not to write every day – though I don’t even try to write during lambing – if I do sit down at my computer, I immediately fall asleep!
I have recently completed The Nile Cat, the first of a trilogy of novels for Young Adults set in both modern and Ancient Egypt.
This has involved several research trips to Egypt, particularly to both Saqqara and Giza. Even with the city of Cairo lapping at the feet of the pyramids, Giza is still an impressive and extraordinary place.
I have also successfully completed a Diploma in Creative Writing from the Oxford University Department of Continuing Education, and have contributed to three successful collections of short stories, The Sixpenny Debt and other Oxford Stories, The Lost College and other Oxford Stories, and The Bodleian Murders and other Oxford Stories. The fourth in the series, working title, The Midnight Press and Other Oxford Stories will be published in 2013.
My short story Arthur’s Boy was highly commended in the Sid Chaplin Short Story Competition and I have also written a number of articles for various publications. An early version of The Nile Cat was short-listed in Waterstones’ Wow Factor competition.
My current ‘work in progress’ is the editing of my grandfather’s letters and fascinating family journals, with a view to publishing them before the centenary of his death during the First Battle of the Aisne in September 1914. So time is running out…!