After studying for a BSc in Psychology in Plymouth, I have often wondered whether I should have carried on to become a clinical psychologist, but, unfortunately, the lazy eighteen-year-old Ali thought she knew better! Instead, my career has included teaching aerobics in the early 1980s (often demonstrating death-defying lunges and squats on a dangerously wobbly trestle table!), working as a sales negotiator in a local estate agent, then spending twenty-three years as a civil servant, mainly as an HR manager. Looking for a different challenge and having a very supportive husband, I decided to resign, and for the last five and a half years I have been working part-time as a personal assistant to a lady with Alzheimer’s. Apart from being very rewarding, it has given me the opportunity to write Home Comforts in my spare time. I have also had letters and articles published in Prima Magazine and Woman’s Weekly.
I’ve loved writing since primary school and have still got a copy of my prize-winning story about a tame wild rat (rather unimaginatively entitled The Rat!) The prize was supposed to be a book voucher and I remember feeling bitterly disappointed when I received a box of fruit jellies instead! I was awarded the same miserable prize when I won the school wildflower competition two weeks later. My poor Dad had waded up to his ankles in mud to pluck me a much-prized marsh marigold for a prize that I didn’t even like!
I really enjoy reading romantic fiction, but I’m also partial to a good crime thriller or sentimental animal books. I’m a real animal lover and am the proud owner of Lola, a bonkers, mud-loving Labradoodle, and Winnie, our feisty rescue cat. There is also a semi-feral teenage son who lurks in a dark corner of the house. He is mainly nocturnal, coming out to forage when the house is quiet and leaving a trail of destruction behind him. I wouldn’t change him for the world though.