I’m very excited to announce that today’s #TenThings guest is my very dear friend, Alex Craigie (or Trish, as some of us know her). I’ve met many, many wonderful folks through this blog, and Trish is right there among the very best of them! And I know you’re going to enjoy her list as much as I did! Trish, the floor is yours!
Ten Things You May Not Know About Me
by Alex Craigie
- At my tallest. I managed 4’ 11”. Cinema-going was always a hit and miss affair. As I grow older, I grow shorter…
- My family mainly slot into one of two camps – medicine or teaching. I loved biology at school, but as I keel over at the sight of blood I followed the teaching strand.
- I loved teaching and have taught all ages from nursery to 19. I also did Home Tuition for the authority to help those unable to be in school for a while. Most of these had such disturbing home circumstances, the lessons had to be held in the local education centre.
- When the children were small, I supplemented our meagre income by writing short stories for magazines and doing competitions. The way to win a competition was to write a snappy rhyming couplet. Armed with a rhyming dictionary, I won on average 4 competitions a month. These varied from all-inclusive holidays (which I was able to give away) to branded aprons. I won a lot of aprons.
- My parents were both Scottish, I was born in the north of England and my husband and I moved to Wales in 1986 with 3 children under the age of four. When I went back to teaching it was as a Welsh teacher. I love the language but it’s one where the beginnings of the words change under certain conditions. Cot is the Welsh word for coat. That sounds manageable, doesn’t it?
- Their coat: Eu cot
- Your coat: Dy got
- His coat: Ei got
- Her coat: Ei chôt
- My coat : Fy nghot
It makes dictionary use really, really tricky for a beginner.
- Sticking with the theme of Welsh, there’s a place in the north which goes by the name of:
The railway station board is a tad longer than the norm!
- I love music and used to play the guitar – mainly classical but plenty of folk and rock as well. Arthritis has made it tricky to properly continue with it but I’ve switched to the piano – some of my books have pictures to colour in at the top of the page. Baby steps! I used to sing in a college choir. Later, a group of us impoverished students discovered that we’d be given a free meal in hall if we sang evensong on Sundays. The four of us signed up for it.
- My mother’s side of the family share an ability to find four-leafed clovers. I thought they stood out for everyone and was surprised that others spent ages trawling through patches looking for them.
- Thirty years ago my ability to recognise faces suddenly left me. I thought it was early-onset dementia but the consensus was that the migraines attacking the same part of my brain had damaged it, leading to the problem. I used to bluff it out, looking for clues. At the time, apart from friends and neighbours, we had three children in different schools, my husband and I taught in two others and I’d done Home Tuition for the authority, plus supply work across the age range in the county schools and, in addition, three evening classes. My brain can usually place people when in context, but after I failed to recognise in the supermarket the teaching colleague I’d chatted with for over two hours the night before, my husband took to sidling up to me with the details I might need. ‘The woman in the checked skirt and purple blouse is Delyth Jones, vets assistant; husband ran off with Huw the butcher…’ I come clean now.
- I love our garden and used to grow only pretty things but have added an increasing range of produce in the last decade or so. There’s something special about grandchildren picking the vegetables for a meal and following it up with some fresh fruit foraging. Our garden’s also home to an impressive variety of birds and we have slow worms, grass snakes, giant moles (judging by the mole mountains), visiting hedgehogs and foxes, plus nightly badgers. The only creature that properly spooks me is the spider, any spider. I can’t even watch them on the television.
Eighteen months ago, Gwen Meredith left the job she loved and came back to Pembrokeshire to help support her irritable and increasingly confused grandmother.
But someone is pursuing a vendetta against her.
As the attacks become more malicious, her old anxieties begin to build.
She’s attracted to her new neighbour who is keen to help…but can she trust him?
When those closest to her are threatened, her desperation mounts.
Who can she trust?
Gwen has a dark secret of her own.
Can she even trust herself?
A book I won’t soon forget! Let me say up front that I read mostly fantasy or urban fantasy these days, preferring to escape from the world around us as often as possible. I made an exception for Means to Deceive after coming across some excellent reviews, and I’m really glad I did.
This book pulled me in from page one, with superb character development and a wonderfully intricate plot. The tension built with each page until I was reading as fast as I could, eager to find out who the main culprit was. The reader is offered several real possibilities in that regard, but every time I thought I had it figured out, I realized someone else was an equally good candidate for causing all the skullduggery going on. Craigie’s writing was strong, clear, and eloquent. The pacing was perfect, and the end, a true revelation. I highly recommend this one!
Alex Craigie is the pen name of Trish Power.
Trish was ten when her first play was performed at school. It was in rhyming couplets and written in pencil in a book with imperial weights and measures printed on the back.
When her children were young, she wrote short stories for magazines before returning to the teaching job that she loved.
Trish has had three books published under the pen name of Alex Craigie. The first two books cross genre boundaries and feature elements of romance, thriller and suspense against a backdrop of social issues. Someone Close to Home highlights the problems affecting care homes while Acts of Convenience has issues concerning the health service at its heart. Her third book. Means to Deceive, is a psychological thriller.
Someone Close to Home has won a Chill with a Book award and a Chill with the Book of the Month award. In 2019 it was one of the top ten bestsellers in its category on Amazon.
Contact Alex via email here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find all three of Alex Craigie’s books on her Author Page HERE