TELL ME...WHO ARE YOU?
Born in 1958 (The Year of the Dog!) and brought up in Birmingham, England, my early education came mainly from my four sisters, which explains much but was greatly enhanced by getting away from them! Attendance at local schools improved things, and a Geography degree from the University of Leeds in 1979 was followed by teacher qualifications from Canterbury Christ Church University in 1993.
Before my life as a teacher, my career was in the travel industry, focusing on marketing outgoing tour operations. After working at Horizon and Intasun, I ran Exchange Travel Holidays by my early thirties, a tour operator specialising in Australia and New Zealand. And then life changed.
My teaching career commenced in Kent in 1991, and I also spent time in Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire before moving overseas. With Andrea (whom I met in Tanzania and married in China), I have lived and worked for two years in Tanzania, six in China, three in Qatar, three in Bangladesh and five in Malawi, teaching mainly Humanities subjects, specialising at times in Economics. Throughout my time in secondary schools, I was a passionate and fully engaged classroom teacher, well-liked by my students.
In June 2020, I retired, and a year later, we moved to our home base in Mexico.
Retirement is a strange word and presents an even stranger existence! It is not as if we lounge around doing nothing; it’s a grand notion, just something that doesn’t happen. A couple of days a week, we can be found walking in the local hills; Patzcuaro is a beautiful part of the world. On Mondays and Fridays, we play tennis. I continue to make a mess of DIY projects around the house. Additionally, I have managed to fit in a bit of writing.
My memoir, HANG THE TEACHER OUT TO DRY, went on sale in September 2021. Sales have not set the world on fire, but it is now in its second edition and has received rave reviews. I viewed it as a learning process, preparing me for the next step.
It is now April 2023, and I have completed the first pair of novels from the CHINESE WHISPERS series. The first is called SISTERS, and the second - MOTHERS. As you can imagine, they have a feminist slant. I am currently doing the rounds to find a literary agent who will, in turn, find me a publisher. This process was delayed somewhat, as it seemed the process was done and dusted last year, only for the agent/publisher to pull out at the last moment. It hurt and put me on the back foot for a while. Now, it is full steam ahead. If I cannot get representation, then I will self-publish, which has the benefit of far higher margins as long as I can achieve some decent sales.
I would love to say that the world is my oyster, but I will not, as I am allergic to those ugly, little crustaceans.