about teresa

 
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A little more about me:

 

 

my writing journey

 

I was eight when I declared that I would be a writer. My ever-encouraging mum supported this notion wholeheartedly, taking me to the library to ask for a list of the UK's publishing houses where we'd send my work when it was ready. My first novel was already in progress. I'd taken the radical creative choice to write each word in a different colour felt tip, which slowed the process down somewhat. Though the novel was abandoned, my desire to write was not.   

At eleven I began keeping a diary, writing daily throughout my teenage years and into my twenties. I have a box of over 70 filled notebooks from this time, and journaling is a practice I continue today.

                                     The diaries

                                 Re-reading the past

At university I quenched my thirst for stories by studying literature, film and theatre. After graduating, I combined a desire to travel with a love of the English language and trained as an English as a Foreign Language teacher, working in schools in Australia and the UK.

But by my mid twenties the impulse to be a published writer grew strong again. Teaching was demanding and I knew I couldn't juggle both: I needed a job without responsibility, one I could leave at the door, so that once I was at home I could write. I moved back to York, my university city, and returned to the job I'd had in my student days - working in a busy art house cinema: selling tickets, making cappuccinos, and sweeping up popcorn. It was wonderful. 

At last I had the time and space to write, and found a supportive creative community around me at work made up of filmmakers, artists and fellow writers. It was around this time that I worked with the writer and historian Dr Jo Stanley as her assistant, swapping a day of editing, transcribing and general writerly tasks for an hour of her invaluable workshopping and feedback on my fiction. 

I started to send my stories out to magazines and competitions and soon they were being accepted for publication. Prestigious literary prizes such as The Bridport and The Guardian Summer Reads were publishing my stories, with the acclaimed writers Ali Smith, Jon McGregor and Maggie Gee selecting my work.  

In the following years I continued writing and submitting stories, and magazines and journals continued accepting them. I took a second job as a mentor and academic note-taker at York St John University, and carried out proof reading and editing tasks for several published writers.  

In 2015 a job ad calling for a ghostwriter of autobiographies caught my eye. I knew the life stories of the rich and famous were most often written by ghostwriters but had no idea that ordinary, everyday people were hiring writers to pen theirs. I was intrigued and excited by the prospect - and it made complete sense - of course anyone should be able to write their life story - everyone has a story to tell. 

Since applying for, and getting, that first ghostwriting job, I've gone on to work for the two leading autobiography services in the UK and I've interviewed and written out the lives of some wonderful people. Through their words I've captained a ship, played at the London Palladium, grown up in a country hall, survived cancer, experienced London in the swinging sixties, been married 11 times, brought up a dozen children, lived my 80s and 90s as an independent single lady and travelled the world many times over. So many people, stories and experiences - now all preserved on the pages of their books.  

In 2017 I took the opportunity to develop my skills as a ghostwriter by branching out beyond life story writing. Hired by my first big-name client, I took on the task of writing his latest self-development book, an incredible experience which has happily lead to further contracts for future books with that same client. That same year I flexed my editing muscles on several book-length projects, all the while writing as me - in my own name - for various publications and websites. 

 

A few photos from my writing journey