“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” Agatha Christie
The Agatha Christie quote is very apt because I am one of the ninety-five percent of writers who has a day job. In fact, I have two: I run the online creative writing school, www.writingclasses.co.uk, which I set up in 2002 with the help of a small business award, and I run a small bed and breakfast, called The Balmoral, which I bought over fifteen years ago. I have washed a lot of dishes since then ;o).
We bought the guesthouse when we came back from living in the Pacific for ten years. I thought having a Bed and Breakfast would give me some free time during the day to write. If you’ve ever run a guest house, you’ll know what a ridiculous notion the idea of having free time is. However, I got organised and got help and eventually got myself a masters degree in creative writing, which I studied for all online – it was this online studying experience, which inspired me to set up the writing school.
I now have half a dozen brilliant tutors who help with the running of writingclasses and excellent help with the guest house, which gives me time to write. That said, I tend to write in the winter months and do marketing/other stuff in the summer months, which includes having a holiday .
Okay, so what’s the blog about? Well, anything and everything that goes on in my life. Mostly it’s about writing things and what’s happening with my books, but I also blog about Leith, Edinburgh and Scotland (as this where I live), and France, because my long and suffering partner is 50% French and we visit France quite a lot. I even occasionally blog about the guest house. So, whether you’re a writer, reader, student, or just curious about running a guest house, I’d love to hear from you.
Post your comment here (or at the end of any blog post), or write to me at email@example.com.
Oh yes, nearly forgot, my books: my first novel is The Blue Suitcase. It was published at the end of 2010. The interest shown in it has been remarkable. It is an historic fiction, inspired by my mother’s life and is the incredible story of a Christian teenage girl growing up in Nazi Germany.
My second novel, Food Of Ghosts, is an altogether different kind of book in that it is a crime novel set on coral atoll in the middle of the Pacific. It features the feisty fictional detective DS Louisa Townsend, who is from Edinburgh! It was published in November 2012 and immediately became Blackwell’s BESTSELLER!
“To read Food of Ghosts is to be taken to the Pacific island of Tarawa and to be immersed in the gloriously idiosyncratic place and its people. It is the first in a series of gripping novels featuring feisty, loner Detective Sergeant Louisa Townsend, an exciting, new female detective from Edinburgh. Louisa is as impetuous as she is ambitious, with an innate sense of justice at her core. Her desire to succeed is matched only by her struggle to overcome an obsessive compulsive disorder, which threatens to consume her.”
PS: Before becoming a writer I did many things, including being a croupier, a marketing manager, a chambermaid, a cashier, a Brussels sprouts picker, but mostly I was a teacher. I taught English and/or Drama in Germany, Spain, the Republic of Kiribati and Papua New Guinea. I also wrote plays.