I was born in Trinidad, and lived there and in Tobago, growing up on isolated coconut estates. When I was ten I moved with my family to England ó a strange cold grey land where people had to wear shoes all the time, and shared houses with other families - so strange that seemed to me! Iím settled happily enough in an Essex semi now.
Iíve always loved telling storiesóso important as a form of entertainment when thereís no TV.† My sister and I used to have bunk beds, and Iíd lie on the top oneóIím the olderóand make up stories for her. Then when my two sons were small I told them stories, and my first childrenís novels, now out of print, were written for them.
That led in an indirect way to my writing primary literacy non-fiction for Collins and Oxford, on subjects as diverse as Improving the Environment, Castles, scaffolding and Archimedes. I really enjoyed the discipline of writing them. It was the research for these that got me hooked on doing the historical research that led to my writing my novel Cymberie.
Daughter of the Sea, my second novel, necessitated even more research, and hours spent in the British Library. But always it's the characters and story that matter most.
My third novel, The Clock-Mender, was a story of injustice that I had to write. Itís set in Sweden, and very loosely based on a 10-page account that was found hidden beneath the wallpaper in an old house. When I began it I didnít know any Swedish, and I translated it with the help of a dictionary, so my translation is likely to have been very inaccurate. The novel is over 300 pages long, so you can tell most of it is total embroidery! But I hope it is still truthful in tone.
Just recently Iíve had the opportunity to go back to writing childrenís fiction, with two storybooks for Ransom Publishing, which was fun.
Iíve written poetry for years, and Iím a member of the Essex group Adamantine. Maybe itís that same discipline and order, the trying to get things right, that makes me love poetry. And loving the music of words.
I am a member of the Society of Authors, the Romantic Novelistsí Association, the Poetry Society and the Royal Society of Literature. Iím also a member of Chelmsford Writers, a group which meets once a month in Chelmsford.
I teach Creative Writing in Adult Community Learning, and sometimes lead freelance workshops, as well as giving talks and readings.
†Iím currently working on a novel set just before the Norman invasion.
Contact Maggie on firstname.lastname@example.org