Why write?

The long and the short of it is that I started to write as a result of always feeling dislocated. Growing up, I couldn’t quite join in, much as I wanted to. I just didn’t have the credentials. Half Spanish, half Italian and with political thoughts that if spoken aloud would have me locked up, I couldn’t find a niche in the suburban, conservative world around me.  And so I was attracted to minority groups: those people living outside their natural habitat. Consequently it felt comfortable teaching English in a UK based Japanese school for over a decade and spending two years living and working in Nagasaki. Once back in the UK I reverted to my default position and now teach International students in a London university, habitually observing cultural differences and puzzling over the universal need to belong; to a group; to a belief system; to a class. The writing happens when the yearning for something solid to attach me to this world, becomes overwhelming. But I needed schooling in the art that came slowly and through arduous self-reflection in the form of journal writing. Finally, bolstered by a Masters degree in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths College, I began to figure out where I belonged: alone in a room in a well-ordered house, quietly writing my first novel.