The first thing I ever wrote was based on the myth of The Goose Who Laid the Golden Egg. Our primary class was putting it on as a play and since I refused the indignity of being cast as a 'third row in the chorus line egg (pink shell)' I had to sit in a corner and copy out the story. Instead, I rewrote it - and realised that there was something in this horrible place called school that I liked doing. For years after that, I did a lot more writing in my head than on paper but story-telling and diary-keeping were compulsions that never subsided. Somehow, a highly interesting career in social work and public health distracted me for a while and I collected a whole drawer full of unfinished short stories and ideas for novels, only one or two of which were ever placed in competitions. My writing became heavily concentrated on non-fiction and research publication. Then I went to work in Bangladesh, turned the experience into a travel memoir, eventually found a literary agent and (even more eventually) a publisher and A Blonde Bengali Wife was published in 2010
Spurred on by the fact I'd finished a full length piece of creative writing and craving the company of other would-be authors, I first studied for a MLitt at Glasgow University and then went on to get my PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing.
I've recently finished my first novel, Grand Pause, a story set on the island of Cyprus, and I'm about to start looking for literary agents who might be interested. (Meantime, I've started a second one...) In addition, I've had short stories published in a number of anthologies and placed in competitions, the most recent being in the Fresher Prize (2016) and I'm the winner of New Asian Writing (2016) Award. As well as tutoring and fiction-editing, I'm the editor of online magazine Lothian Life.
I've been with writingclasses.co.uk for nearly six years now and I really enjoy it. I find distance-learning is a great vehicle for the aspiring writer - the balance of flexibility of study and peer support is unbeatable.'
More about A Blonde Bengali Wife
Read an excerpt here.