Hello. I'm Barbara Wooding, bemused owner of one published thesis and now tentative debutante into the world of creative fiction.
Much of my life seem to have been lived in reverse order. I married and had three children conventionally enough, but education was a different matter.
I left school at sixteen to start earning a living and have spent much of my life trying to catch up with evening classes and short courses. Once retired from gainful employment, and just as my oldest grandchildren were preparing for university, I decided to dip into my savings to fund a degree with the Open University.
Before I finished that I knew I wanted to pursue Shakespeare Studies, and was accepted for an MA course at the Shakespeare Institute. John Lowin stumbled into my life quite accidentally when I was researching Massinger's "Believe as you List". He was the actor who created the play's villain. A highly successful actor in his own lifetime he now languishes in obscurity. I wanted to do something about it and Michael Dobson, then at Birkbeck College, University of London, accepted my research proposal. Although I was awarded a PhD for my work on Lowin, a thesis doesn't reach the outside world. One among my great tutors urged me to turn the thesis into a book - and so Ashgate accepted my Thesis (with some adjustment) and published my first book.
After all that, there were still questions about John Lowin's life that I couldn't answer, so I decided to go creative, and supplement his life using the research as a background. "Player's Progress" is the result.