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Vonnie HughesOur family were all born in New Zealand and now live in Australia.

Nobody in my family was a circus acrobat nor were they dull ciphers – just “normal” – whatever that is.  I wasn’t necessarily encouraged to read avidly and write hundreds of stories.  Did that all on my own.  I was lucky enough to win several competitions.  In fact I won a pony once but my parents encouraged me to take the substitute prize.  After all, there’s not a lot of room in utopian suburbia for a pony.  After attending teachers’ training college (where they encouraged my writing) then teaching for a year, I decided that unlike the rest of my family I was not cut out for the teaching sturm und drang.  So I worked in legal offices, first as a secretary then later as a legal executive.  During this time I managed to accrue a startling number of useless qualifications such as a radio announcer’s certificate, a diploma in journalism/creative writing, the major part of a Diploma in Business, and even part of a Bachelor of Arts degree and an Interior Decorating diploma. 

Then…light bulb!  At the age of 51 I finally discovered what I REALLY wanted to do (late bloomer) and entered the recruitment industry.  My timing has always been out of kilter.

a poem by Vonnie HughesIf you go to the Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand and wander through the Japanese Garden there, you will see a bronze plaque with a haiku engraved on it describing the peacefulness of that environment.  It was written by yours truly.  Every now and again someone phones me up and says, “By the way, I was in the Hamilton Gardens the other day and I saw a poem by a Vonnie Hughes.  Is that you?”  Mmm, I mumble, because in truth that haiku took only a very few minutes to write.  Poetry comes much more easily to me than novel writing, but I kid myself that the experience with poetry writing keeps my words economical and apposite.

As far as novels go, I’ll stick to writing Regency historicals and contemporary suspense.  I love the intricacies of the social rules of the Regency period and the far-ranging consequences of the Napoleonic Code.  And with suspense I can give free rein to my interest in forensic matters and the strong convolutions of the human mind.

And I’ll probably write until the day I die.  Like many writers, some days I hate the whole process, but somehow just cannot let it go.



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