I was born in Levenshulme, Manchester in 1943. My education began at St Andrew’s School in Levenshulme, Manchester, and my secondary education was at Chorlton Central School. I left school when I was 15 and went to work in an insurance company in Manchester as a shorthand/typist. When I was 16 I moved down to London and lived there for five years before returning to Manchester to get married. We had two children. Some years we lived in Malta for one year and a couple of years later I was offered a secretarial job in a Libyan Oil Company in Tripoli. Nine years later I was offered a post in Benghazi, Libya as a secretary in a construction company, where I did a one-year contract. On returning to the U.K. I took a course in ESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) for which I received a City & Guilds Certificate. Shortly afterwards I was offered another secretarial job in a hospital in Saudi Arabia. Whilst there I worked in three hospitals, the last one being in Riyadh. Whilst in Riyadh I turned my attention towards teaching Saudi children English, and began writing simple English stories with a view to encouraging the children to read. I stayed there for thirteen years and finally retired from working overseas in 2005. I continued to write children’s stories stories off and on until I completed my first book of four short stories titled ‘Alex and His Magic Dragon’. I’m presently writing more short stories in the same genre as this book has proved to be very popular with children. I have recently completed a new manuscript titled ‘Sergeant Grog and the Night of the Weasels’ which is currently being reviewed by a publisher.
Publications & Performance History
My debut book is titled ‘Alex and His Magic Dragon,’ published by Austin Macauley in November, 2017. The book consists of four short stories, the first story is called ‘Breakfast Time’, the second ‘Horrible Homework’, the third ‘Katy Goes Ice Skating and the fourth ‘Scruffy and the rat’. I was lucky enough to have the first story published and promoted in Ireland’s Own Magazine in February, 2018. The book has performed very well so far and is proving to be very popular with children aged 6-10 years. I have been invited on three occasions this year to do book signings with W.H. Smith at the Trafford Centre in Manchester and Stockport. Amazingly, on my first visit to the Trafford Centre I sold 15 copies of the book, 6 copies at Stockport and a further 11 books at the Trafford Centre on 13th July 2019. The store has once again asked me to return in August to do another book signing. Total books sold so far to W.H. Smith are 32. The book also proved to be very popular with the visiting parents and children at a special two-day event organised by the Willow Wood Hospice in Tameside. I was very happy to read sections of the book to the parents and their young children. There has been a lot of interest generated from the grandparents of young children who attend Tai Chi with me at Age U.K. I have personally sold several copies of the book to them, and one to a physiotherapist for his children. The feedback has been really good and I’m quite pleased with the way it’s selling. I recently left a copy of the book with the staff of the new Tameside library for their consideration and feedback.
Workshop & Reading Experience
So far this year I have attended three events at W.H. Smith in Manchester'[s Trafford Centre and Stockport, where I gave some readings and book signings of ‘Alex and His Magic Dragon’ to the parents and young children. The children loved listening to the stories and we discussed the actions of Flicker the dragon. The sales of the book speak for themselves as I have already sold 32 copies of the book, and the book store has invited me to do a further book-signing event in August 2019. On 11th and 12th May 2019 I was invited to a special two-day event organised by the Willow Wood Hospice in Tameside. Each afternoon was spent in the lovely gardens reading sections of my book to parents and their young children who really enjoyed themselves. A number of my friends who live in Tameside, and attend a Tai Chi class with me, have also expressed an interest in my book and have bought several copies to give to their grandchildren. I have received some positive feedback from them which is most important to me, and encourages me to carry on writing more stories about Alex and his magic dragon. I recently left a copy of the book with the staff of the new Tameside library for their consideration and will call in to see them soon to discuss their feedback. Finally, after meeting a governor from a school in North Manchester whilst on my recent visit to W.H. Smith, I was asked to attend their school after the summer holidays to give a lecture on my love of writing for World Book Day. I am looking forward to this very much
Group size preference
Minimum audience size
Group age preference
Area prepared to travel
North West, but willing to travel further if required
Train fare from Ashton-under-Lyne/Guide Bridge