I was born in Hampshire, UK, where I lived for the first 18 years of my life. One of the constants throughout my childhood was a deep interest in and love of animals; primarily dogs and horses. On completing my education I worked and trained in a Surrey equitation centre where I eventually became a qualified horse-riding instructor. This was also where I gained experience of carriage-driving.
In 1978 I joined the British Civil Service, where I worked for 13 years. During this time I was finally able to realise one of my dreams; becoming the proud owner of Lively, a 13.2hh part-Welsh cob. I then set about training Lively to pull a small, two-wheeled cross-country carriage and together we entered driving competitions, both cross-country and dressage. We were excited to be among the first members of the public permitted to drive on the Wisley to Leatherhead section of the newly-constructed M25, when my local branch of the British Driving Society organised an M25 Drive.
In 1990 I married my wonderful husband and we went to live in Italy where he was then working. We spent three wonderful years exploring the country and learning the language, although I don’t speak it as well as I would like. We still consider Italy to be our second home and return there for holidays whenever possible. It was while living in Italy that I was finally able to devote time to my other great love: writing.
In 1994 we returned to the UK, once again settling in Hampshire. This was when dogs entered our lives, in the shape of a beautiful Dalmatian, Daisy, and a lovely Blue Roan English Cocker Spaniel, Pepper. Daisy’s life is related in my non-fiction book ‘For the Love of Daisy’, which was my first published full-length book. It is available in print form, with some lovely photographs, from http://www.amazon.co.uk and in e-Book form, without photos, from http://www.smashwords.com. For more information and to read extracts, please see the Books link.
It was also during this time that I began working on my fantasy series, ‘Artesans of Albia’. I have always loved the fantasy genre and I’m an avid reader of intelligent and believable fantasy novels. I was delighted and excited when in 2010 US publisher Rhemalda Publishing offered to publish the first trilogy in this series. Book One, King’s Envoy, was published in August 2011, and Book Two, King’s Champion, in August 2012. The final book in this first trilogy, King’s Artesan, will follow in August 2013. For more information see the Books link.
I have also written several successful short stories, which cover a variety of genres. For a taster, see Cassie’s Shorts.
As well as my favourite pastime - writing - I also train and compete in dog agility trials. Both Daisy and Pepper competed and if you’d like to learn how well they did, please read ‘For the Love of Daisy’. However, both Daisy and Pepper are gone now and so we acquired Milly, a beautiful rescue Lurcher. We believe Milly to be a Whippet/Border Collie cross and she has inherited the best traits of both breeds. She has the grace and speed of the Whippet, plus the intelligence and work-ethic of the Collie. As she looks so much like a Whippet I’m often asked, ‘Where is the Border Collie?’ to which I reply, ‘In the brain, where it should be.’ We often joke that life would be much more difficult if Milly had a Whippet brain and a Collie body!
To keep Milly company we recently acquired another rescue Lurcher, Milo. Milo was abandoned as a 12 week old puppy and came to us via our local dog warden. He quickly settled into our home and was easily accepted by Milly. They now play together and Milo’s puppy training is progressing well. He shows a quick brain and has already picked up some lessons that will help in Agility training. For more information and progress reports, see the Dogs link.
I have a number of other hobbies which I indulge whenever I have the time. I love spending time in my garden, which is visited by a wide variety of birds. Since I was 13 or 14 I have been growing cacti, and now have a large collection. I play the guitar a little and enjoy folk-singing, which is how I met my husband. We used to regularly perform in local folk clubs and even got asked back once or twice! I sing in my local church choir as well as a recently-formed music group. I also work in stained glass, making windows, panels and suncatchers. Lastly, I love walking the dogs in the Hampshire countryside, which is very beautiful. We are extremely fortunate to live somewhere so lovely.
Thank you for your interest and I do hope you enjoy my books.