Jude

Right from being born my mother read to me, as soon as I could string a sentence together, she taught me to read. We travelled a lot and, on every journey, we were given new books, they were new to us, generally they came from the library clearance sale. At the age of 7 I point blank refused to read. I simply put down my reading book one day and said, “no more”. 
For a girl who had had her nose in a book for the best part of 5 years this came as a surprise. 
I was slowly coaxed back into reading in class but never wanted to at home. At age 9 I was diagnosed with Dyslexia. My brother teased me and called me thick – teenage boys can be really mean! 
However, his bullying was enough to make me determined not to let it beat me and I gradually caught up with my class and surpassed them by the time I was 11. 
In High School I had an incredibly nurturing English teacher who saw my passion for books and my talent for writing. She encouraged me to write poetry to deal with my home issues, I won several prizes within school and in England for some of my poetry. When I left at 16 I had read every book in our school library, won 4 awards, written 3 plays and a novel.  
By 17 I was writing reams daily, I’d come home from work, college, the pub, crack open the laptop and write until the small hours. Sometimes I didn’t even go to bed. 
After a break down at the age 18 following the loss of my Grandmother I started college again and this time doing A-Levels. One of the English teachers I had there told me I would never amount to anything; I couldn’t be an author because I dyslexic. That stubbornness not to fail in my belly grew stronger and I was more determined than ever to succeed.
Other than my English my A-Level results were appalling but I was offered a place at Kingston University to read Creative Writing based on purely on my Essay and writing submissions – I hadn’t actually applied anywhere else!
While I was at University I devoured the reading lists and loved the challenge of pushing my writing skills. I wrote further 3 novels while I was there.
In my final year I specialised in editing with the idea of going into publishing as an editor, ideally, I wanted to be an ‘Acquisition Editor’, the person who reads all the manuscripts and decides if they’re worth pursuing, getting paid to read? Yes please! To earn some extra cash I started editing and proofreading my peers work.
I graduated with a BAhons in the top 10% of my class, something I am beyond proud of.
The world of publishing, however, was not meant for me and I ended up working back in finance and gaining my accountancy qualifications. That was until 3 years ago when I took over the running of a literary jewellery company the English teacher who helped me grow my passion had set up. I finally felt like I was on the right path. Alas that didn’t last, so I decided it was now or never to follow my passion, I refreshed my editing qualifications and set up as a proofreader and editor and to date I have edited over 40 books. From here I expanded into full virtual assistant mode, using my vast skills to help small businesses cope with the mundane non-profit making parts of their jobs, allowing them to spend more time making money.
No matter what life has thrown at me I have always read, I never leave the house without a book. Writing has come in waves in more recent years but I have published several short stories under a pen name!