Toni’s passion for writing began when she was 9 years old and bored on a long car trip. With a notebook and pen in hand, she began writing comedic poems to pass the time and discovered a great love of playing with language and personifying objects, creating Walter Wall who yearned to travel and Debbie Drawing Pin who feared being typecast!
Over the years she ventured into short stories and began collecting and writing quotes, amassing hundreds of them since her childhood. Finally, in her early thirties, she took the plunge and wrote her first novel, cementing her desire to write contemporary fiction.
A second novel followed after being made redundant from her job in Dubai in the 2008 credit crisis. Grasping the opportunity for a ‘mature gap year’ and to live her dream – writing a novel in Italy – she rented an apartment in the beautiful village of Cisternino, Puglia, living in a country with no knowledge of the language or the local people. She set up her desk in the quaint stone apartment and wrote The Gift – the charming residents taking her in as part of the community, welcoming “the Inglese” with open arms. It remains as one of the most precious experiences of her life.
Following a TEFL course in Prague, Toni returned to the UK, trained as a CELTA teacher and moved into university employment, all the while developing her next novel, The Sender. She has a particular fondness for this story as, aside from exposing the complexities of relationships and the powerful consequences they can have, it also has a strong undercurrent of encouraging empathy and, in particular, spreading the message.
Currently she is working on her next novel, Benevolence. Toni is never short of ideas (the plots for 9 further books are simmering away!) but, unless she hits the jackpot, writing has to fit around her working life.
She lives in the city she fell instantly in love with in the mid-nineties, and is proud to call Edinburgh and the UK her home.