I’ve been writing fiction for decades, but for most of that time I was doing it alongside a full-time job. Some of the stimulus for my books has come from situations I’ve got to know through my work – and people I’ve learnt from – including my daughters and grandchildren who keep me seeing life through different perspectives.
My latest book, Journeys Without a Map – a writer’s life tracks some of those experiences, and how they have inspired my writing.
I grew up in South Africa, and left because of opposition to the apartheid regime. Then I lived with my young family in Zambia at a time of profound social change. Since then I have lived in London, and I love its cultural diversity. For some years I organised English classes for adults in an ethnically mixed community. I wanted to learn the language of one those communities and had the unusual good fortune to be taught Urdu by a wonderful scholar, Ralph Russell – and from there I got drawn into editing his writing on Urdu literature. Meanwhile I was meeting recently arrived asylum seekers, and setting up a support organisation to help with their transitions to life in Britain.
For thirteen years I worked for Save the Children internationally, based in London but travelling regularly to support staff in thirty countries across Asia and Africa. It was a life-changing experience, learning from people who have to cope with unrelenting poverty, political oppression, and war.
There are details about each of my books and related activities in other sections of this website. I look forward to hearing from you if you read them.