Hi, I’m Margaret. I’m an active listener, an inveterate people watcher, a binge-reader and lifelong logophile, and a “what if?” asker. I hoard away snippets of real-life conversations, and I love coming across a new word. I’m a life-long writer, and now author.
Here are a few things about me that have shaped my writing. I was born in England, where I still live and work, but I’m also a descendant of many generations of Northern Irish family. I lived in Belfast until I was nine years old, during the height of the “Troubles”; this affected me profoundly and has driven my need to write my first novel.
I’m from a family and a region with a strong storytelling and oral history tradition; some might say that the family variety tends more to the fairytale, but tales of Leprechauns hastily glimpsed from the back of a motorbike have shaped me, for better or worse!
I tried to read and write before I started school- I copied out the alphabet on scrap paper and peered hard at books, yearning for the day when I could start school and learn how to read all those wonderful words. My pocket money went on comics first, sweets after.
My first writing success was winning best in category (10-11-year-old) at junior school for a short story based on a three-word prompt (church, rat, candlestick.) The judges praised the story as “enjoyable and funny.” My first real encouragement to write came shortly after from my first secondary school English teacher, Mr. Church, who inspired me to read more widely and wrote on my 1980 report book that I must “nurture my natural gift for writing.” Thank you, Mr. Church, I still cherish your support.
I’ve published non-fiction articles on a range of health and well-being subjects, for UK and US publications. I’m now concentrating on my real love, fiction; my first novella, a historical fiction Sci-Fi, The Battle of Watling Street, was published in 2017 and is now available to buy on Amazon. I’m currently writing my first novel, And the Buntings Flew. I’m also writing a contemporary Sci-Fi novel, The Bondage of The Soil, the modern-day sequel to The Battle of Watling Street.
I enjoy writing short and flash fiction; you can read a selection of my published stories here.
I’m the editor and creator of a flash fiction ezine, Strippedlit500, which publishes flash fiction stories up to 500 words.
I work for a London-based utility firm, where I gained my MBA in 2010. I’m married with one son and his two cat siblings. I’ve challenged myself to read/watch/listen to all the titles on every “Top 100 novels/films/albums” lists I can find. I love making things grow, travelling to new places with lots of galleries and museums, swimming, and walking. Making preserves and cordials from the good things I grow and find in hedgerows is a pleasant way to combine several of these interests.