London is such a great multinational city and I love all its chequered history. My family comes from the East End; a vast cockney tribe of costermongers, dock workers and dressmakers. When my husband and I go back to the city now, it’s as sightseers, and a chilled weekend on the London sightseeing bus.
As a child, I loved the East End parties; the sing-songs, the bawdy drinking and the not-so-discreetly confided secrets as the atmosphere became charged with chemistry. I’d huddle with my cousins “under the dining table” as there wasn’t much room to move when the knees-up got going. There was an endless supply of newspaper boats full of greasy fried chips and bottles of fizzy ice cream soda to keep us occupied.
It was the stories I overheard here that made me into a writer. The only other person privy to the intimate social interactions was Nan. She reclined in the armchair, her permed, bleached blonde hair set with finger waves. She’d watch the scandals with a poker face, but she knew everything - and bided her time to witness the outcome. So did I. A listener and voyeur at a very early age, I turned my observations into a career. Love, lies and secrets are my stock in trade. Though I hasten to add all my books are works of fiction! The Rivers women are forces to be reckoned with and never to be underestimated. As the late, great Jackie Collins insisted, heroines are there to kick asses - not to have them kicked!
The East End days are far behind me now. I live in Dorset, am a dedicated coffeeholic and work full time writing. My husband creates the initial artwork for my characters and has built this wonderful new website. One day, I suppose I might even have to pay him for his many talents. We are proud grandparents, walkers, swimmers, nature watchers and coffee drinkers. Our frequent business meetings are always enjoyed in the nearest cafe or coffee house.
For it’s you the reader who I write for. To explore your problems, your concerns, your hurts, dreams and sometimes your need for a space of your own to enter and find some resolution. That’s what my writing is all about. You. And the opportunity I hope to create for you when you read about the families who have fought against the gravest odds in life - and come through.