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Hazel Prior.jpg

Harp-hugging. Photo by Martin Dearmun

Sadly Living Coasts Torquay have now closed, but Yoyo and friends have been rehomed and now live in Wales. I hope to meet him again one day.

Photographs copyright Living Coasts

A few random things about me

I have lived all over the place: The Welsh borders, Dorset, Devon, Scotland, Italy (Verona) and Bath. Currently I live on Exmoor with my husband and a huge ginger cat. 

I play the Celtic harp. I am mainly self-taught and create arrangements of any music that takes my fancy. (If this interests you, I have a few harp bits and pieces up on the Events page)

At university (St Andrews) I studied English and Medieval history. I have forgotten nearly all of the Medieval history. After uni I changed direction and studied music at Dartington College of Arts. Then I realised it would take more than a year to learn the whole of 'music', so I went to Italy and taught English to Italians... 

Other past jobs have included being a kennel maid, working for the National Trust and performing in a travelling theatre company.

I was extremely ill for many years and unable to do much at all. Eventually I was diagnosed and whisked to surgery and I'm now so much better (although still rather creaky). All those years of pain made me re-evaluate my life and focus on the creative things I love: music and writing. 

It took me ages to actually write my first novel and even more ages to get it published, but that is apparently normal. Four books in and I am still amazed that this dream came true.

How I write novels:

- lots of chocolate

- lots of walks

- lots of naps

- lots of changing my mind and starting all over again

I've never been to Antarctica but when I was researching I went to meet real, live penguins - in Torquay! This was Yoyo, who helped me with my second novel. I went back to show it to him after it was published. He thought it was good enough to eat!

I have recently returned from a once-in-a- lifetime trip to see penguins in their natural habitat, in The Falklands. Do check out my penguin blog if you'd like to know how it went!

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