Me – I grew up in the London suburb of Bromley, where I tried to be a goth but my mum and dad wouldn’t let me (something to do with my ‘beautiful’ ginger hair, apparently). So I huffed off to Manchester University to read literature and creative writing, convinced I’d graduate a million-selling authoress with a trophy actor boyfriend. I graduated single to sell pants in Knickerbox.
A year and lots of pants later I’d given up on my dream of becoming a writer, but had managed to get my first job in media instead (as a receptionist, since you ask). More years passed, during which I excelled at buying everyone sandwiches and lolling on my desk whilst sweating out hangovers. But slowly I inched up the ladder until – bull’s-eye – I landed a job at MTV. I’d won the job jackpot! I’d always LOVED music, and if I couldn’t have a trophy actor boyfriend, maybe I could snag a rock star instead. Sadly, none of the rock stars were interested, but I did manage to spend 7 years working in the press office, promoting shows like The Osbournes and hurtling backstage at various MTV events.
Eventually marriage and kids intervened (the husband’s an investments bloke, in case you were wondering) so I went freelance and, by an enormous stroke of luck, found myself working on the PR for a book award ceremony. On the night of the ceremony investments husband got drunk and started chatting up a blonde. The blonde turned out to be a publisher, and the husband was let off the hook.
(Me – aged 14 – trying to maintain goth-like disinterest whilst receiving a writing prize from ‘Hi-De-Hi’s Ruth Madoc and George from ‘George & Mildred’)