Life as a writer began when, as a young teenager, my teacher told me I had the imagination to write a book. The only thing she forgot to tell me was that I would need to find the confidence to do so! Sadly it took 35 years for me to find that confidence. What did I do in the long years between being told I could write a book and actually doing so? I worked in a series of jobs as a means to an end while searching for the real me.
Working in London as a secretary and drinking my way round all the local cocktail bars after work was a fun start to my self-discovery until I realised that, although fun, I wasn’t going to find myself that way. Going to college as an older student, to gain an HND in Business and Finance, saw me dividing my time between getting a qualification, working in an employment agency and having a fantastic social life until I realised I wasn’t going to find my true self that way either. Working for the County Council and gaining a degree in Human Resource Management with a PG Dip told me that I was absolutely never going to flourish within the four walls of a stifling office. Wearing an Australian ranch hat and a pair of wellies, while being out in all weathers with teenagers on a college farm made me very happy indeed but in my heart I knew I was never going to make this a long-term job prospect either. It wasn’t until we moved to The Netherlands for my husband’s work, and I became a stay-at-home mum, that I started to dig deep for the confidence to write. In-between doing the school run and living the ex-pat life I began to experiment with various writing styles.
The title for Sunflowers in February came to me a year or so later when we moved back to the UK. I was standing next to my Aga, in a cottage in the Cotswolds, on a cold February day while staring out of the window at the greyness of it all. It was also at this moment, that the story, which had originally come to me in a dream at the age of fifteen, fully come to life. I now had a writing style, a plot, and a title – I was ready to attempt to make my teacher’s prophesy come true!
I can tell you I did a full-on happy dance when I finally finished the first draft of my first novel and it sparked the interest of Broo Doherty who is now my agent. Lots of work and re-writes later she managed to secure a two book deal with HotKey Books but I have many more writing ideas to keep me busy for a long time to come.
Finally I have found what I love doing and my books are the happy outcome.
Love for Phyllida Shrimpton
The best young adult contemporary that I’ve read in a very long time. I enjoyed reading it so much!Olivia-Savannah Roach
A heart felt and moving story of love, loss and the lengths that people will go to live their life to the fullest.Between The Pages
What a fantastic first novel! A great read that had me up til the small hours to finish it. And it must be good because my 15yr old son is reading it and it’s difficult to encourage him to read!Amazon Reader