I was what the teachers called a good reader when I was a child. By about aged 10 I was reading books that were probably aimed at teenagers and really enjoying them. Two of my favourites were Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth and Me (its UK title) by E L Konigsburg and When Marnie Was There by Joan G Robinson. I absolutely loved those titles but I could see myself being frowned upon by my classmates when I sat and discussed them with my teacher.
When I got into Secondary School, I found myself under increasing pressure to stop being so nerdy. After all, my classmates wore their school ties halfway down their chests and their top buttons were open. Some wore larger hooped earrings than we were supposed to and one of them was even a Punk Rocker (which really just meant she died her fringe blond). So when they talked about the teenage mags and comics they read, I found myself being drawn towards Jackie, Mandy, Ginty and Debbie. And, not to mention Pink, that was the height of cool. It was the only thing that the coolest girl in the class and I had in common to talk about. And that's how I stopped reading books. Well at least I was reading - right?
So, 'A' levels loomed. In the Sixth Form I got a bit carried away with the freedom and fun I could have and never had time to study. In particular 'A'level English, which I should have done well at, was probably my worse subject. I didn't read all of Washington Square by the deadline, I was too busy. I asked my brother's girlfriend to read it and tell me what happened. I got chucked out of the class once for not producing homework on Tess Of The D'Urbervilles. I had it coming.
So, when - you might ask - did I really get back into reading? Well, if you didn't ask - I'll tell you anyway. It was in my twenties. At a time when I took a job in Holborn and I had a perfect opportunity for reading on that packed out train to and from work everyday. I read a lot of fiction. I read a lot women's fiction. My favourite authors were Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Alice Walker, Terry McMillan and Sebastian Faulks.
These days I read mostly women's contemporary fiction and I'm loving the variety. Every now and then I come across one that really speaks to me and inspires my writing because I can feel the love and commitment to a story practically jumping off the page. I hope my writing is like that for others. I've completed my first novel and I'm well on the way to finishing a collection of short stories with a second novel already on the go. I love to write more than I love to read but reading is a close second.
So stick around here or come back once in a while to see where my reading and writing journey leads me. And please - tell me about yours.