I was brought up in a teaching family – my dad was a headmaster, my mum a school secretary – and while I'm not a teacher, my partner is currently training to teach in a primary school. It's arduous path, requiring her to work 60 to 70 hours a week. She always wanted to be a teacher, but her circumstances made that difficult until now. Her present situation makes for an interesting (if accidental) contrast with Family Tree's lead character. Sarah Henderson is an experienced and talented teacher, who at age fifty is not allowed to continue in her career. She is then offered a wonderful new teaching opportunity, which she finds difficult to take up because of her recent past. To find out more, please read the story.
But what really motivated me to write Family Tree all those years ago was reading, not for the first time, a saying that I have come to detest, namely: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." Whoever devised it must know nothing about teaching. If it wasn't for my teachers I wouldn't have developed my passion for science, technology and history, or my love of writing. Without them, Family Tree wouldn't exist.
Needless to say, Family Tree is dedicated to all teachers everywhere.