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 some 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 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 Nile Cat which is the first in a trilogy of novels for Young Adults set in Victorian 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 five successful collections of short stories; The Sixpenny Debt and other Oxford Stories, The Lost College and other Oxford Stories, The Bodleian Murders and other Oxford Stories, The Midnight Press and Other Oxford Stories and finally The Radcliffe Legacy and Other Oxford Stories.
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 Nile Cat was short-listed in Waterstones’ Wow Factor competition.
For several years I have been researching my Egyptologist ancestors. One of their claims to fame is introducing the young Howard Carter to Egypt. With the centenary of his discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb approaching in 2022 it will be an excellent time to tell the story concerning the part the Tyssen-Amhersts of Didlington Hall played in setting Carter on the road to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the 20th century.
Having access to wonderful unpublished material still in family archives, as well as to the yards of papers held in archives around the world is enabling me to uncover the extraordinary story of a family of fascinating characters. Some of the material I have found is mentioned on my Blog page. I have also lectured on the Tyssen-Amhersts to several Egyptological Societies, and written articles about the family. The most recent article was The Princess and the Karnak Cachette published in Laurent Coulon’s La Cachette de Karnak. I have also presented papers on the family’s exploits in Egypt to the Association for the Study of Travel in Egypt and the Near East (ASTENE).