I was born in the Yorkshire seaside town of Scarborough in 1943. My maternal grandparents lived at Burniston, a village close to Scarborough, where we always spent our annual summer holidays. My earliest memories relate to my time in Burniston, sitting on my Uncle George’s shoulders to watch a parade which was part of the annual village fete and when I was about two years old.
The eldest our four children I grew up in the Midlands village of Rearsby. The ramifications of the war were evident in England during my childhood; food was rationed until 1954. Such restrictions were taken for granted however and never seemed to be a problem especially since my father grew all our fruit and vegetables.
I attended the local village school and, when I passed the Eleven-Plus exam (which all primary school children sat then), I gained entry to King Edward V11 Grammar School in Melton Mowbray. This was followed by a year’s study at Secretarial Course.
In 1966 I arrived in Australia as a ‘ten-pound-Pom’. A five week cruise taking in the Dutch West Indies, Panama Canal, Tahiti, New Zealand and finally Sydney; it certainly was money well spent! When I arrived the AMP Building was Sydney’s tallest ‘skyscraper’, all of 26 storeys high. Much has changed since then!
I’m the mother of six children – now all adults – and am lucky enough to have five beautiful grandchildren. In-between child-rearing I’ve had various jobs which, from 1988 onwards, were in theatre box office. Then in 1993 I started my own business – MCA Ticketing – a computerised ticketing agency for amateur and semi professional theatre. I loved my time working in theatre box offices, especially attending Box Office Management International conferences in Australia, Austria, Canada, France and the USA. I was Chair of the Organising Committee for the 2nd Pacific Rim Conference held in Sydney in 1996 which was a very successful conference. By the time I sold my business in 2001 I was into my fifth year of part time evening study at Sydney’s Macquarie University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts – majoring in history – in 2002.
Over the years I’ve maintained a life-long love of history, literature and the theatre, developing an interest in Australian history during my Macquarie University years which set me onto the writing path. Special thanks too to my agent Selwa Anthony for her encouragement and help.