Paula Harmon was born in north London but her life as a country girl began at eighteen months when the family moved out, trailing slowly westwards from small town to village before settling in South Wales when she was eight.
Her writing life started with “Clanger” fan fiction and making up stories to act out with a kindred spirit. These largely involved flying unicorns. In later Welsh years, she wandered lonely as a … well, lonely person, in woods and streams and wrote about portals to another world and mysterious woodland spirits. Then adolescence thrust its spotty face into her subconscious. When she wasn’t cheating her sister in Monopoly, she wrote (and badly illustrated) tales of misunderstood and angst ridden girls looking wistfully into streams softly weeping while their hair floated in clouds on the breeze. She can’t think where the inspiration came from, especially as the reality of crying in the wind with your hair floating about is that you end up with with wet, tangled hair and a runny nose.
With no clear idea what she wanted to be when she grew up apart from a writer, she graduated from Chichester University (Bishop Otter College) with a BA in English Literature and a vague idea that, after a bit of life experience, if all else failed, she’d become a teacher, even though she had never grown taller than the average ten year old. Whatever else happened, she was determined NOT to become a civil servant like her mother and be able to talk in form numbers.
At her first job interview, she answered “where do you see yourself in 10 years” with “writing” as opposed to “progressing in your company.” She didn’t get that job. She tried teaching and realised the one thing the world did not need was another bad teacher. Somehow or other she subsequently ended up as a civil servant and if you need to know a form number, she is your woman.
Her short stories include dragons, angst ridden teenagers, portals and civil servants (though not all in the same story - yet). Perhaps all the life experience was worth it in the end.
She lives in Dorset with husband and two teenage children and is currently trying to work out why she thought it would be a good idea to include alpacas in the novel she's writing, when it's about wolves and witches.