Fiona was born in Malta, during her father (and mother’s) Navy posting. School, University and Secretarial College followed in due succession, as did a variety of jobs as au-pair, wedding car chauffeur, pig farmer, potato picker, foster carer.
Her writing career was given a mighty fillip by winning the 2013 Gladstone’s Library Short Fiction prize for her story Looking The Other Way.
Since that time Fiona has focussed on her writing together with running a 5 acre small-holding in North Wales and running creative writing workshops.
“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God
ever turned out and sent rambling.” (Ray Bradbury)
Which makes me a rambling fool since my youngest days.
I was the kind of kid – precocious, serious-minded, eldest of four – who should have worn prescription glasses, peering at the world in giddying magnification. Yet my eyesight was good enough to allow me to be both bookish and Tom-boyish. When not reading my way through the entire contents of the small library in the Cheshire village where we lived, I spent a lot of time up trees, swinging from trees, picking out gravel from my knees, pulling wings off mayflies. Subsequent house moves rightfully consigned to the bin all the playlets, poems, crumbling Limericks, letters to Jackie magazine, runaway notes and tender outpourings.
“You must write every single day of your life”, Bradbury says. Which I did. I do. Not necessarily down on paper but in my head, searching out, say, just the right word to describe the mix of something, the colour of something, the tilt of something. Not so much, Why are you looking at me like that, as, How are you looking at me like that? I always thought I’d make a good police witness, but I’d have to tell you about the peeling plane trees, the smell of cheap cooking oil, the maimed pigeons before we got to the crux of the crime.
Future projects :
Book No. 3 will be a wrap-around novel to Before All Else in which we find out whether Marcus and Cecily go on to form some kind of a romantic attachment. Some say they do. Some say they don’t. We shall have to wait to find out. Who’s hopeful?
Book No. 4 – How can an entire house disappear? An 1830’s map of my farm shows a croft – a farm labourer’s cottage – in the appropriately named Croft Field. It is no longer there. All traces removed. We need to find out why and how.