Love, lust, boys and coursework - the main worries of a teenage girl? Not for eighteen-year-old Alice Peterson, who, at the height of her youth and an extremely promising tennis career, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. In the midst of shock and denial, and the enduring question, 'Isn't it old people who get arthritis?', Alice had to learn to live with what quickly turned from the odd ache and pain to a very aggressive form of the illness, and rediscover a new path in life. "Another Alice" is at times utterly heart-breaking, and at others laugh-out-loud. Here is her story of how, armed with humour and courage, she left behind a world she loved to overcome the pain of a degenerative illness. Told with wit, charm and frankness, "Another Alice" is also a story of friendship, family, growing up and the desire to be 'normal'. But, above all, it celebrates the power of the human spirit.
I write with humour and compassion about people who are different. In BY MY SIDE, my latest novel, published as an eBook November 2012, the protagonist, Cass, has a spinal cord injury. In LETTERS FROM MY SISTER, one of my characters, BELLS, is born with a cleft lip and palate. In YOU, ME AND HIM, a son has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). I love writing about love and romance and my books are always uplifting and have the feel good factor but I also like to take the reader to a darker place and cover themes of pain, loss, disability and overcoming adversity. I think this is partly due to my own life experience of living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which I wrote about in my memoir, A WILL TO WIN, now republished as ANOTHER ALICE.
I have written three novels for Quercus. MONDAY TO FRIDAY MAN is set in the dog walking world of Ravenscourt Park, and Gilly Brown's adventures knocked 50 SHADES OF GREY off the Kindle No. 1 spot for 6 weeks - a real highlight in my career! TEN YEARS ON followed, a funny and heartwarming novel about two characters who lose touch, but meet in unexpected circumstances ten years on.
Finally, BY MY SIDE is a love story about Cass turning her life around after a devastating spinal cord injury. Ticket, a golden Labrador assistant dog, is a character who I hope will stay with you for a long time. By My Side is deeply romantic too. I am almost in love with Charlie Bell myself!