At a time when most people my age are looking forward to the prospect of winding down, I came up with the bright idea of walking away from the last shred of security and income I had in order to spend 90+ hours a week trying to 'make it' as some sort of a writer.
To keep the wolf from the door, I now spend one day doing a cleaning/ironing job, and the rest of the time you'll mostly find me in my small rented office (as I'm having to reside with my 84-year-old father and can never get a minute's peace there)!
My (Self-published) debut novel "Just Good Friends?" is for sale on Amazon/Kindle, and much of my time is currently spent doing my weekly 'Soapy Corner' blogs, which take a sideways look at the best (and the worst!) of the week's events in Soapland.
I'm also proud to have come 3rd in the Annual Daz 'Soap Blogger of the Year' 2011 Awards, which (as I'd only been Soap blogging for six months) was a big thrill, and I also write for the Entertainment section of the prestigious 'Digital Journal' news site, as well as blogging for the Corrie Countdown website each week and writing the occasional 'serious' freelance business article.
They even let me loose on the radio, where I co-present an hour-long Friday afternoon show and a regular half-hour Thursday 'Soapy Spot' on the local station Swindon 105.5 FM, plus a live half hour internet Soap magazine show every Wednesday night on Tellyspy.
My riches to rags story:
The eldest child of two professional Jazz musicians; I lived most of my early life in a small Town near Bath before we moved to Swindon in 1971. I'd won First Prize in a National Short Story competition when I was 13 and had wanted to become a journalist, but my parents had other ideas so I went off instead to study music in Leeds, where I spent quite a bit of time reviewing books and drama productions for local student magazines when I really should have been practising my flute!
After finally admitting that I really didn't want to become a musician I ended-up embarking down a rather different career path: Retail Management, which took me around the country and led to a move into Training; work I really enjoyed, as developing/producing training manuals and delivering training courses encompassed both my loves of public speaking, writing and comedy.
My other passion was food and wine. After spotting a big gap in the market my partner and I were about to turn our backs on our good, well-paid careers and sell our big detached house in order to make a move into Catering, but a sudden and unexpected change of circumstances unfortunately put paid to that. After a very difficult few years on my own, things were finally starting to pick up a bit when another cruel twist of fate once-again stopped me in my tracks.
Life then took an unexpected turn when I was offered the opportunity to take on the role of Nanny/Housekeeper to a lovely couple and their gorgeous baby boy (and his two adorable little brothers who were to come along later). Being part of a busy, growing family was extremely hectic, fun, and provided me with some much-needed stability and security.
Writing had always been in the back of my mind though, and on the night of Friday 8th December 2006, I awoke with a start from a vivid dream which forced me up out of bed to grab a writing pad, and when I took a look at what I'd written the next morning I realised straight away that the garbled lines I'd scribbled down while half-asleep were – in fact – the exciting germ of an idea.
Over the next few weeks the desire to write finally overwhelmed me. It broke my heart to leave my 'family' after nine happy years, but four months later I took a leap of faith and moved back to Wiltshire where I quickly wrote my debut novel “Just Good Friends?”
Since then, my life has – unsurprisingly – continued to not go to plan, but despite challenging circumstances I plough on doggedly with the dream/aim of being able to earn a proper living from my writing in some form. A radio play and several children’s stories are also sat awaiting a final tweak, but the combination of having to be a self-publicist, blogger and cleaner all keep getting in the way!
In the rare moments when I'm not sitting at my desk (or sitting in a chair five nights a week watching Soaps), I'll be found either listening to Radio Comedy; watching TV Comedy, wandering round a Supermarket or eating pasta and drinking red wine – often more than one at once!
* 3rd place in the Daz 'Soap Blogger of the Year 2011' Awards
* Writing for DigitalJournal.com from March 2012
* 'Jane's Soapy Corner' 11.30-12.00 every Thursday on the Alastair Greener show, Swindon 105.5 FM
* Co-presenter of the 'TGIF' show 4.00-5.00 every Friday with Paul Dawkins on Swindon 105.5 FM
* Occasional guest on the Girls About Town show, Wednesdays 11.00-12.00 on Swindon 105.5 FM
* Blogger on the 'Corrie Countdown' Website every Monday
* Other Radio appearances include: Rosie Wilby's 'Out in South London' show on Resonance FM, Radio 1Xtra, BBC Radio Leeds and BBC Wiltshire Sound
* Read my interview with fellow writer Morgen Bailey (3/3/12) CLICK HERE
If you would like to engage me for my writing services, do please email me in the first instance via my Contact Page.