Memoir Writing

I not only write Memoir but also enjoy helping others write their own story. In my memoir writing I have always linked events to what was happening in the wider world. My many years experience as a writer, educational author and journalist have given me the skills to help others in the task of distilling years of life into pages of prose.

Coming of age in Botswana describes working and bringing up a family in Botswana during times of great change. Our educational work took us from Mochudi to Francistown with regular trips across the Kalahari desert. We witnessed the independence of Zimbabwe and the problems of apartheid South Africa.

The great grey-green greasy Limpopo at Darnaway
Collecting firewood. The nights get cold
Visiting Mmatsela’s cattle post


Growing up in the Mandara Mountains of NE Nigeria grew from research for my article ‘Pregnancy and Childbirth among the Gude’ published in 1979. My eldest daughter, Melinda, was only five weeks old when we flew from London to Nigeria. She often accompanied me on visits to traditional chiefs and healers who I visited as part of my research.

Granny Helen visits Mochudi
Mmatsela, Emily, Melinda and Hugh at Marang Hotel
With Elija’s family at their farm north of Francistown

Researching and using Family History

Inspiration for In the Line of Duty came from whispers of family secrets surrounding my mother’s family home above Conwy in North Wales. The title reflects the conflict my grandfather faced between his duty as a seaplane pilot in the First World War and his desire to be with both the women he loved. The book is partly based on mother’s unfinished memoir and stories passed down by my uncle and aunt.
Staff at Llandudno Museum were particularly helpful when I was researching the town and surrounding area during the First World War period.

Llangelynnin Old Church