OUT OF THE DARKNESS
Laura is born into poverty and squalor in Saffron Hill, a notorious rookery full of thieves and criminal gangs.
She is rescued from her parents' violent abuse by the wealthy and seemingly kind Mr Freeman, but she has only swapped one dark abusive prison for another.
Laura finds love but it is tragically cut short, and she endures one set-back after another, until she is given a second chance of love.
She has to find the courage to love and trust again, and then emerge from her dark past.
I've just published my fourth novel 'Out of the Darkness', and it's available on the links above.
As the title suggests, there are some very dark moments in this book, and it's not for the faint hearted. It draws on my own abusive childhood and my later abusive marriage, so some of the scenes were very difficult to write.
Having said that, it still has moments of hope and happiness, and as with all my novels, portrays a young girl's journey from childhood into adulthood, her sexual awakening, and her first experiences of that hidden world.
The book starts in Saffron Hill, between the present day Smithfield and Holborn. It was the setting for Fagin's den of boy thieves in Dickens' 'Oliver Twist' and was an area was poverty, squalor and criminality until the mid-20th Century.
Laura is then rescued from her abusive parents and nursed back to health by the wealthy and seemingly kind Mr Freeman, but he has more sinister motives.
She lives in Bedford Row, Holborn for a while and then relocates with the Freeman's to Clapham Common, ending up in Markham Terrace, Chelsea. All the above locations are featured in the accompanying vlog.
I've spent the past 33 years of my other life as a telecoms engineer, but all of my life devising plots and ideas for many novels. My first stab at writing was at the age of 11, when I was inspired by the 1981 TV adaptation of 'Brideshead Revisited'. It was about a similar romp around a stately home, but unsurprisingly, not up to Evelyn Waugh. I remember falling madly in love with Anthony Andrews, and ironically I worked in his house in Belgravia twenty years later, installing a telephone line. Sadly, he wasn't there at the time.
I was born, and have lived and worked in London all my life. My education was woeful, typical of most working-class kids of '70's, and I could barely read when I left secondary school. I managed to drag myself through the sixth form and two years at Brixton College, before working for BT as an engineer where I was (and still am) the only woman working with two hundred blokes!
I know it sounds like an old cliché, but my education started when I left school, and I truly have been attending the University of Life ever since.
I am now divorced with two beautiful sons, and after the birth of my youngest son in 2009, I took a slightly more sedate role within BT, when I managed to convince myself to start writing down some of the ideas for novels that I have had clanging around in my brain for the past forty-odd years. I thought it was better to drag them out before the menopause and then dementia kick in.
My novels are almost all set in the past, as I'm what I describe as a history nut, and are all set in my beloved London, so they unite my two passions. They are all seen from a working-class female point of view and feature the very lowest and down trodden of society, like servants and prostitutes or victims of cruelty or abuse.
I hope to give these, so far, voiceless under-class a real voice in a realistic, authentic and un-sanitised depiction of history.
I hope you enjoy some of the yarns that I have devised, for they are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, very adult, and above all entertaining.