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|I live in Coventry with my
partner, Paul, and between us we have four
grown-up children. I was born in West Yorkshire but spent most of my
adult life so far in Scotland, living in Edinburgh for 22 years and
Dundee for a further three. |
I have an MA in Natural Sciences
and Education from Cambridge (New Hall), an MSc in Artificial
Intelligence from Edinburgh and a PhD, also from Edinburgh, in
Cognitive Science. I've done a fair number of jobs in my time,
including teaching and lecturing a variety of subjects at different
levels. For instance, I have taught maths and chemistry to marine
engineers, hairdressing science to trainee hair-stylists, maths and
English as a home tutor and linguistics, computing and artificial
intelligence to university students. I’ve also helped supervise a
number of PhDs.
I’m fascinated by the way the
human mind works,
especially the way we create and process language, what happens when we
sleep and how our memories operate (or sometimes don’t).
spite of my training I'm less enamoured by computers, though I accept
that they are a very useful tool. One way of understanding the human
mind is to try to program a computer to do the kind of things we do. An
incredibly challenging but very interesting enterprise. The more you do
it, the greater your respect for the human brain (and indeed those of
My alter-ego and her
publications can be found here.
During periods of low activity
on the more
academic front I have run my own business as a gardener and pursued my
dream to become a published writer.
I’ve been writing as long as
I can remember. I completed my first novel at 15 but unfortunately (or
perhaps fortunately) I wrote it in red biro, which had completely faded
after 20 years. No great loss to the world of literature, I suspect.
But I had fun and it got me through a boring 6-week holiday from
school. I wrote another novel in my twenties, during brief periods when
my children were simultaneously asleep. I still have that one
publishers’ rejection letters) but can barely bring myself to look at
it. Let’s say it was a learning experience.
In August 2006 I
took early retirement from my post as university lecturer to – among
other things – follow my writing dream. Since then I’ve been working
hard – I've produced a number of short
stories, some of which have been
shortlisted in competitions. I’ve also, very
recently, started writing poetry. And I have written two
novels, temporarily put aside a third and am working on a fourth.
Through being shortlisted in the
Science Fiction Challenge
I was fortunate to meet
Kay Green and the rest of the Earlyworks
Press Writers’ Club,
who have given me lots of
much-needed encouragement and advice. A great bunch of people.