2021-08-05About me

About me

Nature has always played an important part in my life. The rolling Devon hills, the stark beauty of Dartmoor, the rugged Cornish coast and the beautiful Devon and Cornish villages of my childhood will never be forgotten. Today, the natural beauty of the Swedish west coast, with its magnificent forests and gorgeous beaches remind me that Nature represents all that is good and beautiful. It is a legacy I want my children and grandchildren to enjoy and love.

But our world is under threat. Having spent most of my career writing academic texts about works of English literature, the use of English literature in the classroom, and how to write academic English, I have turned to writing fiction. ‘Katja’s World Game: The Game Begins’, the first book in my trilogy, is a book of love: love of Nature, love of mankind. Why fiction? Why not academic texts about the growing crisis of our planet? I have read many such articles and books, which have helped me to understand what is happening to our planet. I have listened to psychologists explaining why we don’t heed the warnings Nature gives us every day, as yet one more species becomes extinct or several hundred people die in forest fires or flash floods. My characters struggle with the brutal facts they unearth as they write their assignments, put on a dance show, create a computer game and, in book three, produce a sustainable solution.

Fiction is personal, fiction stimulates our imagination, fiction enables us to empathise. My six students read about climate change, write about it, and, as they begin to grasp the true severity of the situation, they know they must do something about it. They create possibilities. They make mistakes and they sometimes lose hope. But they never give up. My characters come from countries where I have taught English literature, given guest lectures, and/or taken part in academic projects. Each of these countries is special to me. I hope that they will become special to you too.

Thank you, all the environmentalists who have helped me, to understand and to write: David Attenborough, Charles Eisenstein, Naomi Klein, James Lovelock, Bill McKibben, David W. Orr, Jonathon Porritt, Johan Rockström and Owen Gaffney, Martin Rees, Margaret Klein Salamon and Molly Gage, David Wallace-Wells, and Peter Wohlleben. And a warm thank you to The Guardian UK, and the Swedish newspaper ETC Göteborg, whose articles have been a constant source of inspiration throughout the writing process.

And thank you to all the wonderful novelists who have given me so much inspiration. I can only mention a few: Margaret Atwood, Amitav Ghosh, Barbara Kingsolver, Ian McEwan, Richard Powers, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Adrian Tchaikovsky.

Literature comes from reading as well as writing. What a privilege it has been to read so many amazing books and articles.

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