I’m a writer by profession and a painter for fun. I have reached this point via a lifetime love of books, a career in the book trade, and a hobby carried on in enthusiastic bursts which has proved both satisfying and occasionally profitable.
It began with a job with the famous old antiquarian booksellers Francis Edwards Ltd on London’s Marylebone High Street. Later in New Zealand I spent happy years working for bookshops in Auckland, and then the Booksellers Association in Wellington. A move to Christchurch meant a change in focus to adult education and seven years with the Canterbury WEA.
The move started me off as a writer in earnest. Since then I have written hundreds of book reviews, some short stories and articles, and many features for magazines and newspapers, short commentaries for radio and, so far, 110 (and still counting) sets of discussion notes for the NZ WEA Book Discussion Scheme. There are a couple of half-finished novels in the bottom drawer and loads of drafts in preparation.
I taught writing to adults for some years and in 1991 self-published a manual based on the courses, which I have extensively revised and now re-published as an e-book on Smashwords and Amazon as Writing, a Practical Guide. A book of ten short stories (An Apple for the Teacher) and another of eight essays on writing (From Quill to Keyboard) have also been published as e-books. A book of stories for children (unpublished) and three volumes of personal family history (also of course unpublished) complete the body of work so far.
I am a member of NZ Society of Authors, and a life member of both the South Island Writers’ Association and the NZ Freelance Association.
As for painting, this has been a hobby, sometimes ignored for months at a time but now taken more seriously. In March 2010 I held an exhibition at the Christchurch Arts Centre. For a blogpost about the exhibition see "We needed a gorilla ..." (25 March, 2010).