Friday, 13 February 2015

Author Profile - Tula Maxted

I was born a ‘Georgian’ girl, 1951 in Whitechapel. My family was a little unconventional, being composed of what my son refers to as ‘a lot of very strong women’,  and amused menfolk who would let my tiny self  ‘help’ mix concrete, develop photos, paint and wallpaper rooms, dig the garden, or guide me through interesting books. True to form I was bossy, wilful and experimental. That ploy has served me very well through my life, self-reliance being preferable by half to disappointment in others. 

My mind is full of trash, obscure knowledge and inconsequential events. I was fired by the air of hope and discovery in my uncle’s collection of ‘tween-wars encyclopaedias, and the ‘modern’ explorations by Jacques Cousteau, Edmund Hillary and of course the views of Africa presented by Armand and Michaela Denis. I took it personally when I learned that the Quagga and the Thylacine in my fuzzy book-photos were no more. This may be why I love to write, to join things together, make a tale and make it all live again.

I have a grasshopper brain, which may account for my seemingly random career ladder from apprenticed hairdresser, through filing clerk, typist, to stay-at -home mum doing day-college, night school and C&G Operating Theatre Technician and then back to work. Ultimately, while studying for my OU Earth Sciences degree, I got a job which suited my style, University Lab Tech. 

I discovered travel. Volunteering in the Peruvian Amazon, a hair-raising trip into the Libyan Sahara for the 2006 eclipse, and a variety of other trips have all left me hungry for more. I sing, dance, paint and draw, walk garden, you name it I will try it. I have a love of all things that may teach me something about the world, or about myself. I am surprised to find I have not only two grown children, but now also their partners, and my four grandchildren, and they are all lovely people. 

Can’t say I ever had a plan… but it all worked out okay anyway. What could be better?

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