I am something of a late starter when it comes to writing. I guess that growing up in a regular working class family in Flanders, Belgium, I wasn’t exposed to the right influences to be able to realise my dormant creative impulses.
In my early thirties, whilst living in Ireland, I became ill with ME/CFS, a chronic neuroimmune disease that affects my energy metabolism. In learning to cope with my illness, I had the opportunity to reinvent myself. I was no longer able to work. So, instead I started studying for a humanities degree with the Open University. It was there that I discovered creative writing, and I haven’t stopped writing since.
Now I am back living in the Flemish part of Belgium, right next to the North Sea, and I spend my time reading, writing and volunteering at a local social food market.
Facts about me
I thrive on witty humour and I try to use it in my work as much as possible, though it often turns out sardonic or dark. So, it should be no surprise that some of my favourite writer-poets are Dorothy Parker, Sylvia Plath and Margaret Atwood.
Among current poets, I especially admire Pascale Petit and Danez Smith.
I adore cats. So much so, that I have been known to cross the street to try to pet a strange cat I just spotted.
I live a ‘part-time life’ because of ME/CFS, an underresearched disease that disproportionately affects more women than men. If you would like to learn more, please visit one or more of the following links:
the award-winning documentary Unrest,
the BBC Newsbeat documentary ME and me,
the award-winning 3 minute video M.E. by Alexandra Hohner.