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Mary, who writes under the name of Valentine Williams, is a poet and novelist presently living in Shropshire.
Born in Aldershot, she escaped to London just in time to catch the tail-end of the Sixties.
She left her first job as a bank clerk before they could sack her, became a teacher in Hackney but gave up eventually on the crowd control aspects, though she liked the kids a lot, moved to Lancashire with her husband and eventually embarked on an alternative career in psychotherapy, working in the NHS and for Relate, and later became a University staff counsellor and trainer, writing in her spare time.
After obtaining an M.A. in Creative Writing at Edge Hill she was commissioned to write two self-help books for Sheldon (SPCK) MAKE UP OR BREAK UP and OVERCOMING IMPOTENCE. Following this, she had numerous short stories and poems published and she and her husband moved to Shropshire, where she started the Drayton Writers’ group.
In the last two years Mary has published two dark fiction novels, THE POISON GARDEN OF DORELIA JONES, a disturbing psychological portrait, and THE MARSH PEOPLE, a dystopian fantasy, with Immanion Press.
She has also published some erotica with Black Lace and more poetry and stories, winning several prizes including the Ware Poetry Prize in 2011. She is a member of the Keele Poets’ Group at Silverdale. She has also self-published as an e-book CHILD WITH NO NAME, a true story about a very young child orphaned in the Boxing Day Tsunami.
A third novella, LOSING IT, was published with Tirgearr Publishing on May 16th.
LOSING IT gives a voice to a woman detained in a secure psychiatric hospital for killing her children, and yet finding in the hospital the security and care she has never know outside. It's really a story about redemption,
She is currently working on a crime fiction novel set in Italy, about the 'Ndrangheda Mafia.
Mary won a major poetry prize, The Hippocrates Prize, in May, for her poem DOWNS.