One of my earliest memories is listening to my mother reading The Old Curiosity Shop as our bedtime story. I was the second youngest of five children, brought up in a home full of books and love of reading. We were always encouraged to express ourselves creatively.
For me, writing was what came naturally. I’d scribble stories, poems, plays. Whatever felt right. I loved writing letters and had a pen friend in Norway (Whatever happened to you, Mona Ulsrud?). And by high school, I was writing a journal every day.
But it wasn’t until I turned fifty that I gave myself permission to be a writer. I’d enrolled in an editing course, but quickly realised I wanted to be the one producing the manuscript. So I started writing short stories.
My first acceptance was a story in Australia’s Woman’s Day magazine. Every year I’ve aimed to do better than the previous year. When I sold three stories, I aimed at four. As I’ve raised my sights, I’ve had to find new markets, learn to adapt stories for overseas magazines, and take rejection on the chin (Still working on that one!).
To date I’ve sold 470+ stories to magazines, anthologies and newspapers in Australia, the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, South Africa, the US and India.
Alongside fiction I’ve always enjoyed writing magazine articles. I’m a regular contributor to Writers’ Forum, and have had articles in Pets, Steam Railway, Ireland’s Own, Dog’s Life, Writing Magazine, Writing Queensland and The New Writer.
My book Edit is a Four-Letter Word is published by John Hunt Publishing (Compass Points).
I’m planning to put together a collection of my short stories Scribbles of a Mad Woman in Her Dressing Gown.
Blog: I Should Be Writing 23 November 2012 click here
Writers’ Forum: My Writing Room
Blog: I should be writing 15 August 2015 click here
Blog: A likely story 21 August 2015 click here
Blog: Susan Jane Jones’s Blog – Writing and doodling about things I like 25 August 2015 click here
Newsletter 2: Iain Pattison – 1 October 2015 click here
Blog: womagwriter 12 November 2015 click here
Bridgehouse blog: A Ray of Sunshine 1 December 2016 click here