Everybody has a book in them, or so it's said. But it's something else again getting it onto the page and to a place where it might be shared.

I have been writing since I was a young child. Always, my dream was to see my name on the spine of a book. Books gave me life, a dream to live by. Through their portals I could escape so easily into other worlds. Books also saved my life ... yes, really!

This is the story of my books and my journey as an author, including a very personal view of my journey through Life. I hope it will inspire and give hope to writers and readers young and old.

Getting published can be a waiting game. It's hard .. and getting harder. But then sometimes it can happen in an unexpected way and suddenly, we truly are living our dream. And we realise that it isn't after all the winning that is important, but the journey that is ours along the way.

I would love to hear from anyone who connects with what is written here. A signed copy of any of my books is available. You have only to write and ask:

Saturday, 26 March 2011

A CRYING GAME: The Diary of a Battered Wife

Published in February 1984 by Mainstream

ISBN: 0 906391 49 0 (hardback)

Available through Amazon

The book tells the harrowing story of what it means to be a battered woman. It is my own shared experience. I wrote it as I began a new life in Scotland with my second husband, having just given birth to a beautiful little golden haired girl, the child I was told I could never have.

I was allegedly the first woman in the UK to come out and say what living with an abuser really meant and the book was all I remembered at the time. Memories turned my hair white. I had post traumatic stress, panic attacks, nightmares, and very little self esteem. I still believed that everything which had happened was somehow my fault, that I was to blame. And that if only I could get it right, be a good wife, everything would be fine. I knew nothing about 'The Battered Wife Syndrome' and the mindset adopted by those who become vicitms which means we live in a trap of our own making ... afraid to leave, afraid to stay.

The book was a purging of the past. I still thought I was alone in my experience. I had never heard of the concept of a battered woman/wife. I was so unprepared for the fall-out.

I was given a long list of media engagements by the publisher which took me from Aberdeen to London and then back again to do a book programme on Radio 4. Through the weeks which followed publication, I continued to be spotlit on radio, in newspapers and on TV. I appeared on the sofa at Breakfast TVAM. I was involved in discussion programmes, the first with Mavis Nicholson on Afternoon Plus, including a psychologist from Muswell Hill, Glynn Seaborn Jones.

On returning home, hundreds of letters came in the post from this country and abroad, from people identifying with my experience. Young and old, men and women and older children. And because of a phrase I used on TV in expressing the need of people living in violence for support and understanding, a lifeline even while they were still living in danger; newspapers took up the cry that I was starting a nationwide organisation.

And so LIFELINE was born ... LIFELINE which became a national registered charity, working with families in abuse as well as abusers in and out of prison.

I took part in national conferences and provided teaching workshops for Probation, NACRO, NCH, Police, MIND, and other services involved at any stage. I had a PhD in Life. It mattered suddenly that I knew what it felt like and understood the experience and more than anything, that I could talk about it and share my feelings. And where there were no words to express the pain, the confusion, the self-doubt, I used colour and drawings to describe what was going on inside.

I continued as Director of LIFELINE and an Abuse Consultant/Trainer until April 1990, when my second marriage came to an abrupt end and I needed to protect my daughter and focus once more on breaking free.


 Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.

I can remember so much more, I can understand so much better. I have therefore recently written a revised book including my life in A Crying Game but updating it according to the experiences which followed. I have also included a self-help section for any woman living in abuse today.

This new book will be available shortly as an e-Book. Watch this space!

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