Fiona Beddow was born near Dover, Kent. She showed musical talent at a young age and, after leaving school, spent four years at music college. She then worked as a classical flute player and teacher. After ten years in the music business, she decided to re-train as a primary school teacher.
In teaching she rediscovered a love of words and found helping children to read and write the most rewarding part of her job. She now works as a home tutor, specialising in educating children with special needs, and building confidence in literacy and numeracy skills.
The adventure novel Fierce Resistance began its life in 2007. It was inspired by avid childhood reading: the naïve spirit of the Famous Five books, the solitary determination in Ann Holm’s ‘I am David’ and the dark perils of the H. Rider Haggard novels. A big sister herself, it was inevitable that Fiona would create Beth Hardy – a lead character driven by a devoted loyalty towards her younger brother.
The JASMINE Portfolio came into existence after Fiona woke up with the phrase ‘the 12 labours of Hercules’ in her head. This – combined with the inspiring tale of young American journalist Nellie Bly – led Fiona to create a story where an aspiring teenage news reporter called Jac goes on a series of daring quests in a mission to expose the truth.
Fiona knew she wanted to set Mouse on the Isle of Wight. In fact, she knew the book must start with the heroine running along the shoreline at Bembridge! She had been gripped by stories of WW2 double agents and wanted to make the Isle of Wight a place of secrets and subterfuge. But how to make the heroine different from the previous two? Suddenly it was obvious – make this girl shy and unassuming, a kind of anti-hero. Laurel Smith is the ‘quiet girl’ in all of us, who has to dig deep to find the strength she needs.
Fiona is a member of the Girl Effect Movement, and is passionate about championing the rights and aspirations of girls. She is a big supporter of Khushi Feet, a charity which funds education for street children in Kolkata. You can find more about these organisations by clicking on the links.
Fiona gives writing workshops with a musical twist, and talks to children about the adventure of writing.
(Photo reproduced by kind permission of St. Edmund’s Primary School, Whitton.)
Have more questions? Take a look at the Q and A section for bite-sized info and writer’s secrets … or watch this video interview! Here is Fiona talking to violinist and composer Sue Aston on a Special Edition Google Plus Hangout. Hear exclusive stories about the inspiration behind Fiona’s writing and how Fierce Resistance all started.
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