Hi! I am Emily.

I spent my early years making mud pies out of African soil, snapping twigs on the frangipani tree to watch the poisonous milky sap run, climbing jacarandas, learning to count with lucky beans, daring my brother to look in the snake pit on the way to school and waiting for the rains to come. When I was 8, we flew across the vast continent of Africa from the bottom to the top and beyond, eventually landing in London on a grey and drizzly day. It was winter. I was excited! England was our new home. I had just read Frances Hodgson’s Secret Garden and in my imagination had fallen in love with the people and the place.

Living in an old gamekeeper’s cottage in the middle of a field, now counting pheasants, exploring the woods, building elaborate tree-fort contraptions, pretending my bike was a horse and always reading made this imagined love for British countryside real. Books were the passport to exploration and understanding. I learnt to love British history and heritage. I still do!

We were close to the river Thames, which filled my teen years with plenty of friends messing around in boats, and frequently camped on the Island in the middle of the river in true Arthur Ransome style. I tasted that Thames water more often than I ought. It was then that music, always a core part of me, became something I worked hard at. But still there were books and I began to learn how to write craftily while I read avidly, lazily and continually. Until at 16 I fell in love with something much greater, my Creator, and I stopped reading fiction.

Music took me to University, where I studied, wrote a lot of poetry and got married, all at the same time. Considering I always had to be positioned to watch the pianists’ hands at any concert I went to, it is little wonder that I fell in love with and married one.

Being a wife and mother is my greatest achievement and feels very grown up! I count my blessings. I have taught our four children at home and, holding their hands, returned to reading fiction to lead them through all the landscapes and adventures in the books I loved as a child. They have gone on to explore adventures of their own and I have turned over new pages, too. Living in Wales with a small menagerie and a wonderful family provided lots of inspiration. But, today, we live over the border and I am trying my hand at a more grown-up book – one that marries Africa and Britain and has taught me about the seas and service of the Royal Navy. Who would have thought?!

Enjoy the adventures and visit again soon.



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