Laura E James’ Lovely Blog Hop
I’ve been nominated by Sue Fortin for the Lovely Blog Hop where I share some of the things that have shaped my life. Thank you for the nomination, Sue.
First Memory: I must have been about three, and I can remember playing in the front garden of our house in London. We had a long rear garden, but it backed onto a factory and I was a little spooked by it. In my mind’s eye, I can see a trike that I used to bomb up and down our concrete drive. And I always had hand-knitted cardigans …
Books: I loved The Folk of the Faraway Tree and Mr Galliano’s Circus, both written by Enid Blyton. I also had four Paddington Bear books, a series of Peanuts/Snoopy paperbacks, and Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty, to mention a few. I still have some of my childhood books and have passed them to my children, including Bunty annuals, a Lady Penelope annual and a whole host of fairytale hardbacks. My mum was a big reader, and I inherited her love of books.
Libraries: I grew up in Watford, Herts, and the North Watford Library was on the home-school bus route and was quite a draw. I could jump off the bus a few stops early on the way home on a Friday and nip into the library either to carry out research for homework, in the absence of PCs, the internet and Google, or spend a happy hour choosing books to check out and take home. I especially liked the books that were in new plastic covers. I hunted out those ones. It was an absolutely joy to think I was the first to get my hands on a book either new to the library or with a clean, pristine jacket.
I attend a writing group now, called Off The Cuff, and we meet in our local library every week. It thrills me to see friends’ books on the shelves. That will never grow old.
What’s Your Passion? Excepting family, and other than writing, that would be music, and I enjoy different genres from classical to pop to heavy rock. I have an older brother who taught me well when it came to rock bands. Motorhead’s Ace of Spades still elicits an instant response from me.
I am a huge Kate Bush and Paloma Faith fan, I adore ABBA and All About Eve, think Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac are brilliant, and would jump at the chance to see Eurythmics live one more time. Attending an Opera is something I’d like to do.
Learning: I studied to A Level standard, including Geography, English and Theatre Studies, and turned down the opportunity to study TV and Film Studies at King Alf’s in Winchester, as I had a job by that point and was enjoying the independence that came with earning. I had a few years where I took singing lessons, which always put me in a good mood, and now I love attending writing courses.
Writing: I am one of those people who has always written from the moment words made sense and I could hold a pencil. I have comics, books, poems, a novel I started writing with my brother when I was ten, song lyrics … I write issue-driven, contemporary women’s fiction with strong elements of romance now, or as Sue Fortin so wonderfully coined, ‘Romance without the soft edges.’ I have two novels published by Choc Lit, Truth or Dare? and Follow Me Follow You, and have contributed to four anthologies. Details can be found on my Novels and Anthologies page.
At the time of posting this blog, I will be in plaster, following wrist surgery, so I’m going to refrain from passing the baton on this occasion, but if anyone else would like to run with it, I’d love to read your replies.