Photographs by Simon Lewis
Who am I?
Writer, grandma, wild swimmer, theologian, hanging on in there but not yet sure where there is.
I grew up in Lusaka and have spent much of my life in sub-Saharan Africa (Zambia, Kenya and Zimbabwe).
I left school at 15 and became a secretary, following my mother's advice to learn to type before I got married, so that if my husband ever left me I'd be able to support myself and my kids. (46 years on and he still hasn't left).
After years as a frustrated secretary and failed attempt to be an earth mother, I started university when the youngest of my four children started school.
Somehow, I went from being an agnostic and rather conservative Presbyterian typist with very little education to being feminist Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Roehampton, which is too long a story to tell here.
Along the way I've published a few books and now I've left my academic post and am focusing on my first and lifelong passion — to write fiction. I have set up a publishing imprint—Christabel Press—where you can read more about my published and forthcoming novels.
My Roehampton website has the official version of this potted biography.