Well, WordPress prompt, when I was fifteen, I took over my ballet teacher’s school for a few months before going to college.
Despite being far too young for such a responsibility, I loved it, and it paid for all the dancewear and equipment I needed for my studies.
In my second year of dance school, I got a job in a shop in Covent Garden. It was a very nice shop. I had more money. No more choosing between food and decent pointe shoes.
But here is where things go a bit darker than the WordPress prompt probably intended. I knew really, that working both Saturday and Sunday, after a hard week of dance training, was a bit foolhardy. My sensible friend, Suzette, who would have counselled against this, had returned to Mauritius. More about Suzette and dance training here
So, I became exhausted. There was dance injury after dance injury. I developed a chest infection that lasted five months.
The shop sacked me for being ill. This left me even more vulnerable than I had already been, at seventeen, alone in London.
There was a violent predator.
There was an incident from which I was lucky to escape with my life.
Fast forward to the present, skipping several other jobs…
And my writing is influenced by my past. This is most evident in my contemporary work. There is a dark event in TENDU, the first book of A Dancer’s Journey, that I knew how to write because of my own experience. Not that it’s exactly the same, of course. In fact, it’s quite different. Fiction has to be more dramatic than reality, and more interesting. Far more interesting…
And have an infinitely more exciting setting…
These books have dark moments, but they are actually quite fun, overall, I think. And naughty. Like life, if you’re lucky!
Update: the whole series is out now!
Series on Amazon UK
Series on Amazon worldwide
Series on Goodreads
Dance and Despair: Writing What You Know on Women Writers, Women[‘s] Books.
More on the series
- Pointe Work and a Red Leotard
- Dance Research in the Dungeon
- Chosen Sisters: Friendship and Dance
- A Snaggled, Barbourous Place
- Diabolical and Deranged: Writing and Blood
- There’s also this strange little post about what the characters of A Dancer’s Journey get up to when I’m away from the keyboard.
Set in 1st century Scotland, and featuring the cliffs and caves of Cullykhan Bay, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD includes the battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Caledonian tribes. The book features a neurodivergent main character and some rather complicated romance…
“Ethereal and spellbinding…” Historical Novel Society
See the press release here
Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.
Taking place mainly in a fictional castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story.
See the press release here
From the Press and Journal: New book by Fraserburgh author highlights horrific extent of witch trials in Scotland
FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the kidnapped children and young people of Aberdeen. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith from the castle and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s derring-dos on the high seas… And there’s chocolate!
See the publisher’s Press Release here
“Filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society
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