I am a grandma with eight wonderful grandchildren who keep me on my toes! I have been married for 45 years to the same chap and have always lived in London.
I self-published my first “Whatever Next, Grandma” book on Amazon in July, 2020, and quickly wrote a further eleven stories, which was a wonderful respite from concerns about the Covid 19 pandemic.
I hope in due course to be able to publish them all; as an independent publisher there is a lot to learn and I am very grateful to my literary consultant, Claire Wingfield, my hugely talented illustrator, Mike Phillips (Beehive Illustration) and website warrior, Elisabeth Klaar.
Elisabeth recently suggested I write a series of stories about Gertrude, Grandma’s wonderful black and white cat. Now that’s an idea! Meanwhile here I am reading ‘Grandma’s Jungle Adventure.
A little more background: I began my writing career back in the ’70s as a newspaper and BBC local radio news reporter. I took time to have my four children before retraining as a Relate and Fertility counsellor, and practised for the next 17 years, the last five in a busy fertility unit in Harley Street.
I spent ten years as a Literary and Numeracy Support Teaching Assistant in Barnet primary schools, where I developed skills in – and a love of – teaching phonics and early reading to groups of children new to English, or with special needs.
I used humour, plain silliness and even raps to teach vowel sounds which were particularly difficult for children arriving from Eastern European countries. It seemed to work.
The schools were happy, caring environments where I watched children bloom and develop friendships and confidence in themselves.
Whilst at my last school I attained HLTA status (higher level teaching assistant) and put myself through a maths GCSE with the respectable pass that had eluded me at school. Was I proud of myself!
My final ‘career’ was ten years spent joyfully as a birth and postnatal Doula. Teaching new mothers to feed and care for their newborns is a great privilege and I was lucky enough to be my daughter’s doula when she gave birth to my youngest grand-child, Chloe.
Writing humorous children’s stories somehow just happened. My grandson Ben had the idea and sold it to me with his customary tact. “You’re completely bonkers, Grandma. You’re always doing mad things…why don’t you write stories for kids?” So here they are.
I was delighted to be invited to do Zoom readings for several year groups in five London primary schools over the Covid period during National Book Week, and these were very much enjoyed by the children. Book sales followed and I look forward to doing many more readings in person this year, both in schools and libraries.
I’ve loved writing about crazy Grandma and clever Gertrude, and hope your children and grandchildren enjoy them. Please do take the time to post a review on Amazon or Goodreads, or help your kids to navigate themselves there. Actually come to think of it, it could just end up the other way round!