I’m a wordsmith who has loved words since Enid Blyton stole my childhood sleep, and my first article was published in a school magazine.
As a child growing up, I didn’t want to be a teacher or doctor or pop star. I wanted to be Kate Adie. The fierce female war correspondent for the BBC was my role model and inspiration. It wasn’t her fame, her presenting job, or her array of beige shorts and shirts that got my attention. No, it was the stories she told.
When she frequently appeared on my first-world living room TV, I was mesmerised by the people she talked about, the stories she told, and the lives she covered. Years later I realised what it was about her that made such an impression. She covered places that were planets away from my life – Iraq, Tripoli, Tiananmen Square, Rwanda, Bosnia – yet each time she told people’s stories, she brought them right home to me in my living room.
Before heading to university to study International Politics & Writing, I spent a year teaching English in Karachi, Pakistan, and travelling the length of India – securing my first few commissions writing for a travel magazine.
After my degree, I spent a few years in London learning the communications trade before putting them to use in foreign fields. I was sent to Borneo with Raleigh International to document the work being done there and build local PR. Walking a rehabilitated orang-utan through the rainforest and releasing it into wild is still one of the most moving experiences of my life. I went on to travel and work across SE Asia and New Zealand, before returning to Ireland where I settled in Dublin.
And then I became Kate Adie; I became a storyteller. I joined UNICEF Ireland as Fundraising & Communications Manager, later promoted to Deputy Director. For nearly six years I travelled to terrible amazing places, meeting people whose stories I was privileged to tell. Among them, I interviewed child soldiers and girl sex slaves in Sierra Leone, I spoke with parents devastated by sanctions who couldn’t feed their children in Iraq, I met with villagers on the edge of survival in Zambia and I wrote about them, fundraised for them, and told their stories so that their lives could be improved. I then took up the senior management role of Director of Fundraising, Retail & Communications with Ireland’s largest children’s charity, Barnardos. This was a critical time of change and development for the organisation as we made ambitious plans to transform the landscape for children in this country.
Over ten years ago, I took a step back from the intensity of 24/7 jobs to rear my own young family, and return to my lifelong passion for writing. I have built a strong career as a freelance journalist and author, as well continuing as an accomplished Campaign Copywriter, helping charities improve the way they communicate with their supporters. I have also trained as a Life Coach, practising as The MidLife coach, helping women take control and live their lives consciously and with purpose.
I live with my three daughters and a menagerie of animals in Dublin.