I believe in the saying that "Everyone has a book waiting to be published."
My first book The Good Spell Book that has led on to future titles began because I was reading a book my father had given to me called Secret Britain. A romantic picture of gypsies in the book made me think I'd interview gypsies for a magazine for which I was writing.
I met a gypsy, Peter Ingram who ran a Romany museum in Selborne, Hampshire and restored horse drawn caravans. I took my crystal ball with me and read his fortune.
Impressed with my forecast, he introduced me to agricultural and county shows across England where I told fortunes in a tent or in a horse drawn caravan.
Fate was at work. He was one of the Romanies featured in "Secret Britain" years before. It was the ring on his finger that made me realize he was the same man. Romanies he introduced me to prompted me to take notes and compile The Good Spell Book.
After a few Summer seasons, I stopped doing the shows and began working as a clairvoyant for parties in homes, restaurants and hotels and including The Grosvenor House and The Hilton Hotel, both in Park Lane, London. I have also worked at The Athenaeum Hotel in Piccadilly, London and at numerous prestigious hotels around the home counties. Looking back I think the county shows were like an apprenticeship.
My next title followed, Tea Leaves Herbs and Flowers Fortune Telling, published by Element.
Combining a mixture of working as a clairvoyant and writing, I wrote The Love Spell Box published by Bulfinch and The Fortune Teller's Book published by Little Brown. When writing I usually draft a combination of long and shorthand in a notebook before typing it on to my computer. My little Yorkshire Terrier, Daisy May, has helped me to write all four of my books by sitting with me and keeping me company. But she died on the day I posted my MS for The Fortune Teller's Book. Perhaps she felt her duty was over. Perhaps I felt that if she died before the work was complete, that I would find the book hard to finish.
When I write a book, I am at it day and night, burning the candle at both ends to meet the deadline. It is on my mind even while I sleep. In fact, inspiration often comes in my sleep. Some stages of the book are harder than others and I cannot rest until I have sent the manuscript off to the publisher.
Meeting deadlines requires enormous application and self-discipline. I live as a recluse from weeks on end. Friends and family despair of me. Writing is a most anti-social occupation!
Between writing books I enjoy walking on the downs or in woods near my home in Buckinghamshire. I enjoy cooking and creating my own vegetarian recipes. The real me also finds peace and solace in music, log fires, the collection and cultivation of wild Dowers and the company of dogs. I love the sun and travel. Oh yes, and the building up of my psychic library.
There is always a void after handing a book in, because something that absorbs your time and energy every day for months has suddenly gone. This time, with my little dog gone too, the void felt even greater.
I love writing books. So two weeks after mourning my loss I thought it best to begin another. I hope you will have the chance to read it. Katie Boyle, Daisy May's godmother has just found me an abandoned Yorkshire-terrier puppy from Battersea Dogs' home. Rosie as I've called the hound and I are already in love with each other. No doubt you'll meet her soon. After her rough start in life she is now beginning to look quite photogenic, well I think she does, sprawled on the floor under my desk. I suppose she's my pen pal.