Having been fascinated by celebrity since I was a young child who loved to listen, watch and make music, I began writing a love story with a showbiz theme. It was set in Melbourne, Australia. Why? I had no idea!
For some bizarre reason, when other kids were borrowing children's books from the library, I pored over anything pertaining to the huge island continent 12,000 kilometres from my home in a London suburb.
Then, as my life took some unexpected and unfortunate turns during my twenties, I found myself suffering from severe depression, anxiety and suicidal tendencies. Many years later I would be diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.
I moved to Melbourne in 1999, to satisfy my curiosity about this obsession with the Australian city with a most definite European culture. As I expected, I felt immediately at home, as if I had lived here in a former life. These factors have also influenced my writing.
To say my illness has defined my life is probably an exaggeration, but not actually far off. Despite my best endeavours, these demons are here to stay, and I needed to learn how to accommodate these unwanted "friends" in my everyday life.
In addition to volunteering and my gorgeous dog, I accomplished this goal through writing. Writing, writing, writing, writing... And my cute love story morphed into a six-part serial which tells of battles and triumph over mental illness. I would love my books to serve two main purposes: first, to inspire fellow sufferers to rise above their symptoms; and second, to help non-sufferers to understand that we are not that weird really. Through tolerance, love and support, we can all co-exist and even thrive in this world where it's estimated that there are 350 million of us with a mental illness at any one time.