At the age of 18, Alice Peterson was doing great. She was one of the top seeded players of British tennis, and was about to take up a tennis scholarship in the US. But overnight her happy, secure world was thrown into disarray when she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. By the end of the year Alice was bed-ridden and praying for relief from the all-consuming pain of her disease. Alice tells of her tennis mad childhood and her battle with arthritis; of the competitive junior tennis circuit and of learning to live with a degenerative disease.
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!