Paula Coston's real name is Paula Iley.
1976 1st class BA Hons degree, English language and literature, Oxon
1976-1990 Editor then Commissioning Director in various book publishing companies, working mostly on general and non-fiction lists (Weidenfeld & Nicolson; Ward Lock; National Portrait Gallery; John Calmann & King – now Laurence King; Phaidon Press)
1990-1994 Primary school teacher with a specialism in English and language
1994-2003 Educational consultant in own business partnership, operating UK-wide, working with children and advising on the teaching of English and literacy
2003- Administrator in education, currently working in a University
• She has written fiction and poetry since she was about eight, when she was informally mentored by J.R.R. Tolkien for a while! (he was a neighbour)
• As a publisher she wrote nothing (editing cramps your style!) aside from journalistic pieces (art reviews etc.)
• She began writing again when she started teaching children creative writing and helping teachers to do the same.
• She has written two previous novels (so far unpublished) and several parts of novels. She has established a writing group, attended others and been on a two-week writing workshop to Skyros.
• She writes a blog at BoyWoman.wordpress.com which tackles the central preoccupations of On the Far Side, there’s a Boy.
• She writes because she feels there is much to say that has not been said about childless, single women, the longing for parenthood, women and daughters and the gender divide . Her fiction is contemporary realism with an alternative reality dimension, although in the past she has written historical fiction and fantasy. There is another book in the pipeline.
Paula researched this novel during several trips to Sri Lanka. She has experience of many events narrated (attempted adoption, a link with a foreign child through a charity, working in education), and, with her background in schools and education, knows how to portray the way children speak, write and think. She lives in Stroud, UK.
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