Beth JORDAN

I was born in India of Anglo-Indian/Eurasian parents, residing in old colonial railway colonies. We lived a charmed but borrowed European lifestyle, attending catholic convents, far from home and being taught by Belgian and Irish nuns. I escaped my early cloistered life through my parent's immigration to the UK. Barely here I landed back in the arms of more nuns, until a further escape at sixteen to a teenage life at a college of further education.

I followed in the footsteps of family into careers in nursing, teaching and then breaking free in my early thirties by setting up my own business in design and textiles, manufacturing out of China and India. I set up my own brand of fashion, as well as manufacturing under White Label for many UK high street clients. I loved the textile business which enabled me to travel to many countries around the world, looking for the most unique and beautiful crafts to incorporate into my own world of fashion.

While I travelled I became fascinated and engrossed in indigenous cultures, so many reflective of my own. This led me to an interest in anthropology, which I studied at Birbeck College in London. During my travels I kept diaries, knowing that in years to come I would forget so much of what I had seen. I'm glad I did.

In time, love, marriage and a child came along to divert the course of my life for a while, but my business life continued as well as my travels, enabling me to record stories and photographs of all that I was privileged to encounter. Photography became an obsession alongside my diary keeping.

Over fifteen years ago, I came across a creative writing course run by Jonathan Lorie, called Travellers' Tales. Although I had kept copious diaries of my travels, they were very much diaries and bits of stories. With Jonathan I discovered I could use words differently. My imagination in the use of words opened, I became more expansive in my writing and found a new enthusiasm for the written word. I fell in love with words.

Further along the way, I met Dorothy (Max) Prior who introduced me to the world of memoir writing. Here she taught me the craft of writing and between Jonathan and Dorothy, I found the seed of writing beginning to flower and my love of memoir writing began to blossom.

Max's first exercise given to me in memoir writing was entitled 'a sense of place', 1000 words. I began to describe a memory of my time in Cuba and the 1000 words became 86000 words and my debut novel THANK YOU FOR THE KISS was born

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Book Award Sub-Category
Golden Writer
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