I’ve always been creative. I can’t help it, it’s in my blood. After achieving an Advanced Diploma in Fashion Design and Technology in my twenties, I later added certificates in screen printing and jewellery-making. I then enjoyed a long career in the fashion and applied arts industries including running my own successful women’s wear, children’s wear and jewellery labels.
About fifteen years ago, I began teaching classes to pass on the skills I’d accumulated over the years—design, pattern-making, sewing, Art Clay Silver, screen-printing, cake decorating and machine embroidery.
I enjoyed creative writing when I was young, but put it aside in favour of other pursuits until about five years ago when I had the urge to write a manuscript. My first novel, Peak Hill, which was developed from that manuscript, was a finalist in the Romance Writers of New Zealand Pacific Hearts Full Manuscript contest in 2016. My short Story, Seeing Him Again for the First Time won the Romance Writers of New Zealand Chapter Short Story Contest and my work also won the historical section of the RWA Valley of the Sun Hot Prospects Contest in 2018. My short story, The Clockmaker featured in the Capsule Stories anthology in Winter 2019 and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
The past few years have been a huge learning curve both creatively and technically. One of the most important lessons I have learnt is that it is essential to gather a great team of people around you such developmental editors, beta readers, line editors and proofreaders. While the act of writing is a solitary business, you can’t produce finished novels without help.
Because I am a firm believer that it is essential to back up creative flair with a strong technical base, I recently completed a diploma in advanced applied writing. Now I spend my time working on and promoting my novels, teaching sewing and pattern-making part-time and being a wife and mother. I enjoy several hobbies including photography and making historical costumes. Fortunately, I can combine these two interests and use them to produce the covers of my (historical) novels.
The costume on the cover of The Moral Compass was the first one I made. I enjoyed the process so much that I have made several more costumes from various periods that will feature on future covers. Additional images are available for sale on Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, Deposit Photos and Dreamstime and have appeared on the covers of many international novels.
My interest in creative photography has grown of late. My images have featured in galleries including a solo show at Kumeu Gallery in Auckland in November 2020. My images have also placed in local and international competitions. You can view them on My portfolio website.
You can also check out my photography on Instagram.