I was born in a cold night in February in 1956, in Wiesbaden (Germany), where I grew up with a younger brother. After finishing High-School I went out in what I regarded the big wide world – I left my home town to study in Hamburg (Germany), a harbour city and most famous for its red-light-district.
Throughout my life I’ve earned my living in many ways – I was a cleaner, a barmaid, a postman, a secretary, a lecturer at university, a P.A. and a ghost-writer. I worked in factories and offices, I taught adults English, German and Labour Law. I worked for politicians, CEO’s and trade unions, and last but not least I worked in Brussels (Belgium). I turned down interesting jobs in the diplomatic service and in the European Union institutions to come and live in Northern Ireland – making a long cherished dream, to become a full-time writer, possible.
I used to make my own clothes and even wore them when having meetings with high ranking politicians or company directors, and when I studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science I knitted god-knows how many jumpers. Nowadays my passion for gardening and my little dogs take up a lot of my time.
I wrote books already as a kid in school. But as my father always wanted me to become a (medical) doctor and indoctrinated me how important knowledge and trade unions are, I abandoned the idea of becoming a writer. Instead I broke out in a different direction, studying Political Science and graduating with a PhD, thinking it was more worthwhile to campaign for better lives than writing – unpolitical – children books.
Well, I don’t regret any of my steps so far. Each one of them gave me plenty of expertise. I met all sorts of people – weird and wonderful and always listened to their likewise weird and wonderful stories. Without all that I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
I generated a heap of knowledge and at times felt rather frustrated as I didn’t know what to do with all that accumulated wisdom. Nobody likes a smart-ass so I always toned things down. But still, playing dumb is not really in my nature and a little bit of that knowledge here and there in my novels doesn’t do any harm, or does it?