I grew up surrounded by people playing music and putting on plays. My father, who was a violinist, also wrote plays, which is what I wanted to do. I trained as an actor and obtained a diploma from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). I have worked in advertising and public relations and published short stories and books, but for the majority of my working life I have been a journalist.

The first things I had published were poems in the school magazine; the first works performed: plays on the Kenya Broadcasting Service. In a writing life that has spanned more than 50 years, I have covered everything except crime and sport. For some years I was Cosmopolitan’s quiz queen and I was also an agony auntie for a women’s magazine. In recent years I have specialised in health and medical science and have been secretary of the Medical Journalists’ Association, and editor of its newsletter and awards booklets.

I have lived virtually all my life in Kent and Sussex, currently with a husband and two cats, in a house with a large garden.

Music and gardens are major influences in my life. (This one isn’t mine.)