I grew up on one of the toughest council estates in Bristol where it wasn't healthy to be different and downright dangerous to be clever. Telling stories, writing plays and musicals and promising a starring role to a streetwise role model, was my way of trying to fit in.
Victoria Park Junior Girls, Marksbury Road Secondary and Bristol Central Secondary Commercial School did their best with big classes and minimal resources. The best thing the latter taught me was how to type - 95 wpm is a worthwhile asset if you happen to be a writer. Its main shortcoming was that it had no art facility (I'm not bad at drawing, painting and clay work), and never, in all the time I was there, were we encouraged to produce an essay, a short story or a poem.
I've bred and shown Irish Setters, mucked out my daughters' horses, ran my husband's businesses (and his life), owned and managed two hotels (husband ran the bar) . I have also written stuff you wouldn't show to the Women's Institute, four books for Virgin's Black Lace and eight for Headline - writing those landed me appearances on numerous TV shows including the Good Sex Guide with Toyal Wilcox.
I now divide my time between a cottage in the Wye Valley and a 46 ft yacht named True Colours which resides in the heart of the Med on the island of Malta.
I also won the BBC Radio Funny Five Minutes competition, part of the New Talent Scheme. From the four finalists the listeners voted the runaway winner Second Time Around.
I've now turned to crime - only writing it mind you. Something In The Blood came out in June. Rest assured I have not relinquished the Jeannie Johnson novels. Where the Wild Thyme Blows came out in March 2007. The sequel to Loving Enemies, Secret Sins, comes out in hardback in September.