Gail Aldwin
Age: 50
City/Town: West Country
Country:  UK

Places Travelled & Place lived:I left the UK when I was twenty and travelled on a converted double decker bus from London to Kathmandu.  The journey took us across Europe and through Turkey.  We made a detour south to visit Syria and Jordan then back through Turkey and Iran, into Pakistan and India arriving in Nepal three months later.

Following that, I spent a couple of years in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea and although I lived in modern accommodation, my neighbours shared traditional houses made from thatch (one for the men, another for the women, children and pigs). I loved the mountains and the remote beauty of the place but with tribal fighting on the outskirts of the town, it was a scary place to live.

When I returned to Europe, I lived in Spain for a year, sharing a flat in Santiago de Compostela and teaching English.  It was while I was living in Spain that I decided to study for ‘A’ levels by correspondence and seek a university place to become a qualified teacher.  I’ve been teaching for over 20 years now and I take advantage of the long holidays to visit places such as Tokyo, Reykjavik, New York and Toronto

Loves: I love writing and have enjoyed success in having my short stories and flash fiction published in online and print anthologies.

I enjoy reading books that are set in countries that I’ve visited.  Independent People by Halldór Laxness is an epic work from Iceland. I’ve been addicted to the writing of Orhan Pamuk since reading The Museum of Innocence, a story of obsessive love set in Istanbul.  I’ve spent so much time in Australia, that it’s like a second home, and I adore reading books set in the wild and open country, such as After The Fire, A Still Small Voice by Evie Wyld.

Creative Works:

What would one find in the pages of your Paperblanks journal?
I always carry a Paperblanks journal with me to capture snatches of conversation and ideas for writing that occur throughout the day. I was in a café recently and set a whole story based on the notes I’d made while watching a baker knead bread.

Do you have any personal philosophies you’ve come to develop about writing?
My theory about writing is that you need to keep at it. I write every day and try to stay focused on creating the best possible stories.  I read a lot, including debut novels, so that I can keep an eye on the competition.

How did you find Paperblanks?
I was given a Paperblank by my niece one Christmas and was delighted with the gift.  I now see having a beautiful journal as a way of valuing my work.

What sets Paperblanks apart from other journals you’ve used?
Paperblanks are tactile, a pleasure to hold and I love the magnetic clasps.


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