Ever since I was cast in the role of Maisie in the Springs Girls’ High School production of The Boyfriend when I was 16, I have loved all things 1920s. I love the fashion, the music, the dance styles and the literature of the period. For much of my life I’ve had a 1920s bob – even when they weren’t fashionable!
Although I write many different things (you can check out my other work on my blog) and lecture in writing for the media, stage and screen at Newcastle and Northumbria Universities, the Poppy Denby Investigates series reflects more of me and my personal interests than any of my other books or plays.
I worked as a newspaper journalist in Cape Town and a freelance magazine journalist in the UK – Poppy is a journalist. I also studied drama and worked for a few years with my husband, Rodney, in a travelling music and theatre company – Delilah is a singer, dancer and actress. I play jazz clarinet (very poorly) – The Jazz Files sizzles with jazz. I have a degree in history and am fascinated by the suffragettes and other pioneering women.
I too, like Poppy, come from a non-conformist faith background and have negotiated the choppy waters of being a woman in a male-dominated working world. However, Poppy is not me, and I am not Poppy. In some ways she is braver than me, in others, far less worldly wise (she is only 22 after all). I like to think that Delilah is my alter-ego – the party girl I only ever occasionally let out. However, within the pages of The Jazz Files and subsequent books in the series, I hope my readers will find someone or something they can identify with. But beyond that, I hope they simply enjoy a rollicking good tale.