’ve always been intrigued by the Edwardian period, that “golden sunlit afternoon” before the devastation of the Great War, because in reality this was a period of tremendous upheaval and change. There are suffragettes on the streets demanding votes for women, Irish nationalists clamoring for Home Rule and trade unionists heralding the rise of socialism. Against all of this is the looming threat of war with Germany.
As the child of British parents, I grew up in Australia with a strong sense of history. We were a nomadic family – my parents had emigrated to Canada from England in the mid 1960’s, where I was born, returned to England and then emigrated to Australia in the early 1970’s (where my sister was born). My mother, a history teacher, and father, an economics professor, instilled in me a love of art, history, and literature. I dreamed of being a writer but instead studied law at the University of Melbourne in Australia. I went on to practice commercial law before switching careers and moving to the United States in 1995. I obtained Master’s degrees in economics and international trade law and subsequently worked as an economist in the health care industry. But the dream of being a writer never died. I published articles on both law and economics and soon realized that what I really wanted to do was pursue my life-long dream of becoming a fiction writer. The opportunity arose when I took time off to pursue a PhD only to discover I was pregnant with twins. I put the PhD to one side and focused entirely on writing a novel. And so Consequences of Sin was born (and needless to say, the PhD fell totally by the wayside…) I now live in Denver, Colorado with my husband, twin sons and collie. In my spare time I enjoy painting, completing the New York Times crossword (one day I hope to get past Thursday) and indulging in my love of English literature. Despite being the mother of two active boys, I still have a passion for travel and regularly visit my family in England and Australia.
Inspiration for Consequences of Sin came mainly from two sources, my grandparents’ experiences living and working in Lancashire, England and a trip down the Orinoco River in Venezuela that my husband and I took in 2000. My mother’s parents were poor, working class Catholics from Rishton, a small industrial town in the North of England, while my father’s family were middle-class Southerners who lived on the outskirts of London. I have always wanted to incorporate some of my family’s experiences, not only working in mills and factories but also the conflict that often occurred when “North meets South”. Writing the Ursula Marlow series has allowed me to pass on, in some small way, a legacy of my grandparents’ experiences in both the North and South of England.