ONE PENNY A STORY, I called across the playground.
Entirely unusual, given how shy I was (and still am), for me to be shouting anything across a playground.
But there I was, a double-sided sheet of narrow ruled paper (I've always been kind of particular about the paper I like. Back then, narrow ruled. Now, grid.) in my hand, selling stories I hadn't yet wrote.
Every line featured a different title. I'd lay on my bed the night before thinking of them all, probably singing along to Boyzone songs as I did [hey, don't judge... I see you over there like you never thought you were destined to marry a boy band singer...].
My school friends could buy a Mona original for one penny. One penny!
They'd pick the title they liked, hand over their sweaty penny, and I'd write the story for them.
And I've never grown out of writing stories.
Now, I write cozy mystery stories from my den in the Peak District, and when I'm not writing them, I'm reading them.