This is the first time I’ve written a bio that does not revolve around my graphic design experience. A bit scary, as I imagine a very blank page past the next three words that describe exactly what I am doing at this point in my life:
I am writing.
However, being a writer, I love to pour words onto a page, be it with ink or digital letters.
Last year, I wrapped up the Golden Egg Academy Foundation Year, where I focused on my YA novel. 436 drafts later, I’m now submitting it to agents which sort of feels like sending my son off to school for the first day. Repeatedly. I’m going for the 12 – 14 year age range, in other words, clean teen. I truly believe there needs to be more books for young teens that don’t tackle the heavy stuff. Or have loads of swear words (I recently did a swear word edit but kept a few in where I felt no other word would work). I just want to leave the reader feeling happy and wanting to hug the book when they’ve finished. It’s been one heck of a squiggly path to consider calling it done, but, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Editing, to me, was the fun part!
And, boy did I give myself a lot to edit. I realise that when I write, I am an extremely rambly writer. So, for my rewrites, I not only had to get the story figured out and as page-turning as possible, I had to edit out all the words like, “just, actually, so, etc.” Though I do not use the word “etc.” once in my manuscript. Yet, anyway. Anyway! That’s another one. I’m just kind of into internal monologue. The running commentary of a teenaged boy is what I hear when I’m typing out the words.
Other than working on a book, I’ve written a few short stories, a few children’s picture book texts, and am using felted wool to illustrate one of them. I’ve never been at ease with paints but working with dyed wool? There’s something about it that’s quite satisfying whether it’s the strong, bold colours or the multiple dimensions the piece goes through before becoming a flat piece of art. Of course I’ve only done 2 of about 22 illustrations so far. I can see where my son gets his love of starting projects, loathing of finishing them. I will carry on. I even bought a bin just to store all my wool in. A storage bin. Not a rubbish bin. I’m not at that point, yet.
I still do bits of design work from my repeat customers, mainly in the US and the Alps (well, my long-time American client who has a biz creating trail running excursions in the Alps), and any word-of-mouth jobs that come my way. Even to just technically say in any type of conversation where the topic comes up that I do actually make some money.
I live on the outskirts of Manchester with my husband Steve (who I can thank for the wicked Italian last name) and our 9-year-old son, Lukas. I often imagine what Lukas will be like a teenager and ended up using it for inspiration for the book. I also picture what his friends will be like in 6 years. I wonder how close I’ll be.
Even though home is here with my boys, I still hold Maine/Massachusetts close to my heart. We spend a few weeks every summer traveling around New England, visiting my family and spending as much time as possible outside. I love the guarantee of decent, warm weather. Unlike, well, here. Sorry England. Don’t mean to offend. But as I stare out the window at the rain hitting our BBQ? It stings, people.