Originally, I trained as an opera singer but had to re-think my plans when my voice professor commented: ‘Your voice is ok, but your legs are very much better!’
Musical theatre beckoned. I had some success, but not much.
Eventually, in 1978, I joined Anglia TV and in 1979 became a news presenter on their flagship programme About Anglia. At last, I had found something I enjoyed that other people thought I was good at. What a relief! It was a wonderful job and I stayed for 12 very happy years.
Next, almost by accident, I became an agony aunt and wrote columns for various publications including Best, BBC Parenting, The Scotsman, TV Times and Woman.
During those ‘problem page’ years, I trained as a psychotherapist, because I decided this would give me greater credibility in my columns. After gaining diplomas in Integrative Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, I started seeing patients, and had a practice in Harley Street for 20 years alongside my late husband, Dr David Delvin, who was a psychosexual specialist, part time GP and medical writer. We also wrote books together as well as numerous articles, both in print and online.
I also wrote 12 non-fiction books including How to Mend a Broken Heart, Get the Happiness Habit and Too Young to Get Old. These were published by Hodder and Piatkus. In addition, I broadcast extensively over the decades on mental health and relationship issues.
In 2016, I decided I wanted to write fiction for a change, and I wanted to focus it on characters who were in mid-life or older. There are three titles in that genre so far: Who’d Have Thought It?, It’s Who We Are and So Many Ways of Loving. I am planning to publish a new novel in the spring of 2023.
Since writing Too Young to Get Old I have become increasingly interested in the subject of positive ageing – indeed it has become a passion for me. I write a weekly column on this theme for a group of newspapers in East Anglia including the Eastern Daily Press and the East Anglian Daily Times. And I also coach clients, usually on Zoom, who want to feel fitter and live more healthily as they age. In 2023, I hope to venture into group sessions. More information is available on the Coaching Page.
Finally, I am pleased to say there has been a return to normal in recent months in terms of public speaking, book events and interviewing people at festivals. I have been quite busy!