I've always been a voracious reader. It started with Enid Blyton, moved on to Daphe du Maurier and then spread to the entire works of British and American literature (or so it seemed) when I did a degree in English and Drama at Birmingham University. With F R Leavis breathing down my neck and David Lodge as my cynical tutor, my joy evaporated. After finals, I burnt all my notes and essays and didn't read another novel for seven years. I didn't want to dissect them or look for sub-text any more.I started up again with some contemporary women writers who hadn't been on the reading lists - Penelope Fitzgerald and Iris Murdoch and Edna O'Brien. Then I discovered Virago and The Women's Press and all was well again. With the birth of my two boys, I was happily back in the land of children's books with Dr Seuss and Maurice Stendak and the Narnia stories. I read Lord Of The Rings twice out loud with voices for all the characters. My degree in drama finally came in useful.I've had 7 books published by mainstream publishers and my first novel White Lies was accepted for publication in hardback by Quartet Books. Linen Press has just brought out the paperback version.Now I run Linen Press and have to read 10-12 submissions a week looking for the sharp needle in the literary haystack. For fun I confess to reading thrillers and Simenon's Maigret in French - 31 and still going. If I don't have an unread book on my bedside table, I panic.