Carol's Working Life

Carol has written since she was six or seven and was a reporter by the age of 19 when a story she wrote was accepted by Cardiff newspaper editor, Jack Wiggins, who offered her a job on the spot:

'It was my first job and although being a reporter is what I'd dreamed of, the work was tough to begin with. I'd been brought up with a strong sense of justice and had to learn that the 'real' world wasn't like that. But Jack Wiggins had a nose for foul play on his patch and one day he sent another reporter and me on a story which has stayed with me.

'The brief was to discover if relatives of the dozens of men who had died in a colliery disaster in the Valleys were being paid the compensation owed to them. He had a hunch they weren't being - and he was right. Not one family was receiving its due.

'A week later, when Ian Beales and I came back with the evidence, Jack ran the story over two pages. Soon after, the money began to arrive. It was one of those rare occasions when you knew you'd been able to make a difference.

'Fleet Street then beckoned and I was working in national newspapers by the age of 21.

'It was a terrific time to be a journalist. It was pre-internet, when reporters were out and about meeting people and experiencing events at first hand. Soon I was working for the BBC, reporting for radio and television.

'But, still only in my twenties. I'd interviewed 100's of people by this time, been to just as many places, and my mind was on overload. Ideas were gathering and I needed to do something with them, so I stopped work and came home to write short stories and books.

An interview with a senior Family Planning doctor from her time as a journalist led Carol to investigate the subject of sex education. This, in turn, led to her ground-breaking work with teenagers, forming the basis of her first book The Ostrich Position

Inspired by people like the Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire, and Canada's Neil Postman, her teaching in schools and in the community was the subject of many tv programmes and was followed by invitations to work at university level.

She has been a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Journalism at London's City University and an RLF (Royal Literary Fund) fellow at Westminster University.

She has spent many years championing authors' rights and has sat on the Boards of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain, ALCS (Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society) and the Society of Authors.

'I've continued to be involved with writers' organisations, working for authors at a time when the onslaught on most writers' income and on our value to society is increasingly under threat.'

After suffering severely with RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) some years back, she is also an Alexander Technique Teacher. She writes and teaches from home in Islington, North London.