After leaving school at an early age, 13, due to dyslexia, a condition not recognised back then, I started working as a backing dancer for several rock groups in the 70’s, thanks to a chance meeting with Noel Edmonds, and an impromptu competition he arranged at the Digby Hall, Sherborne, where he was a guest DJ. Indirectly culminating in me meeting my soulmate Angela, a fellow singer and dancer. We moved in together and had a child. When in 1977 she was killed by a hit and run driver, my life went to shit.
After losing a custody battle with her parents, I wanted to just disappear. From my early teen days living in a pub, I knew a family of gypsy’s that travelled the country from February to late November, and they agreed I could go with them, but I would have to help. they soon realised I was good at telling stories, they would give me a subject, or a character and I would make up a short story around the subject. I never knew what I was going to say in advance, it just came flowing out. When they set up in a village, and on the rare occasion a town, I would do my party trick. Someone in the audience would come up with a subject, then after Mahala, the singer had done her turn, I would tell a short story based on the suggestion from the audience, usually someone they knew well, so they did not think it was a Gypsy trick. That is when I first knew I had this gift, but due to Dyslexia I soon realised what it would cost me to ever get a book published.
Now five children later, the last one being my fiftieth birthday present, I had a lot of bedtime stories to tell, and my children always chose the story line, and some were really out there. Using the experience that year with Bombers family on the road in a horse and cart, from Sherborne to York and back again, taught me how much stories affect people. Maybe I will pen that journey, as it was an experience that changed my life in so many ways. Since then, I have enjoyed returning to the stage on the odd occasion when asked, mainly through my 30s and 40s, usually as a means to raising money for charities, all be it, local halls, churches and schools, it was still there and always enjoyed the experience. My only daughter, now an early teen convinced me to write a novel as she and her friends liked the stories I told. Though my first novel has now been pulled from the shelf, as it were, ready for a rewrite, I have learnt a lot from writing short stories, under several names, and I have had great success with some of them, but they were my learning curve. My first series under the Barrel Coops pen name, Bella, after my daughter, came out in early 2022 and the five books took just five months to write and four months to edit, mainly due to my spelling, Punctuation and using words that have more than one meaning depending how they were spelt, took some editing, you could guarantee if I spelt it right, it was the wrong write. Dyslexia has and will always be something I have to work with, but until my dying day, I will now keep writing. Hopefully my stories will interest you, maybe even inspire you. I hope you enjoy them.
The first book in the series is free here on Smashwords, I have done this because not everyone will be used to my style of writing, after all, I am a storyteller, I was never taught to write novels, though I have learnt a lot in the last year. It will give you an idea as to whether you are likely to enjoy it.
My Author profile above will tell you more about me, why I wright the way I do and my story telling background, so please have a look. I am a storyteller, not a novelist with a great literary background, my books are as I would have told them on the stage. I don’t have endless packing on the history of the car the character just happens to be leaning against, nor an in-depth character profile for a character that only ever appears in one paragraph, I try to leave the packing out. I prefer to keep the story flowing, free from mundane extensive descriptions. I hope you, as others have, enjoy the experience.