Well it all started out wanting to write, and later having a family, and the two sort of collided somewhere in the middle…
I began in journalism as a news reporter and later features writer for the Eastern Daily Press in Norwich, before becoming its Deputy Features Editor (I was Jo Ellis back then, before I married the EDP’s then football writer Lewis Wiltshire, now Senior Director of Media Partnerships, Twitter – I hereby declare an interest in all things Twitter-related!).
During my time at the EDP I was a finalist in the Travelex Travel Writers’ Awards, and was the BT Media Awards Feature Writer of the Year (South East and Eastern Region). I was also the first-ever winner of The Prince’s Trust Local Reporting Award in association with The Newspaper Society – my mother still has the picture of me with Prince Charles somewhere!
I moved on to become a writer and celebrity interviewer for The Mail on Sunday, and was lucky enough to interview lots of high-profile personalities, including Heath Ledger, Sir Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman and many more.
It was a wonderfully unpredictable life, a highlight of which was being told while interviewing Ivana Trump on her yacht in Monaco that I wasn’t allowed to use the loo. “Journalists must visit the café across the road, darlink,” she tinkled as her maid hovered behind us, vacuuming our footprints out of the deep pile white carpet…
After starting a family, I became a freelance writer and here the two worlds collided when I began to write parenting books, as well as continuing to work as a journalist, mainly writing on family, parenting and youth issues. I provide expert parenting comment for TV, radio, web and the print press.
I have worked as a journalism lecturer at Harlow College’s Journalism Centre and at the University of Hertfordshire, specialising in news writing and magazine writing. I am an experienced tutor at Hons degree, postgraduate and NCTJ (National Council for the Training of Journalists) level and have marked for the NCTJ diploma. I am also a journalism consultant for CTJT Distance Learning Courses.
I live in East Hertfordshire with Lewis, our children Evie and Charlie, and our dog Lily the whippet.