Bel Roberts

Bel RobertsABOUT ME

I was born in South Wales and I’m a graduate of Aberystwyth and London Universities. On my retirement from teaching, I spent a year at Bath Spa University, gaining an M.A. in Creative Writing.
In the first national open short story competition I entered, Dame Beryl Bainbridge judged the entries and presented me with the prize. Subsequently, the story, A Touch of Gloss, was broadcast twice on BBC Radio 4. A further three short stories won prizes in The Bill Naughton Short Story Competition and were published in its anthology Splinters in years 1999 and 2000. Two others have been published by Honno Press in its anthologies, Catwomen From Hell (2000) and Written In Blood (2009). My travel article: Manana Mania was published inThe South Africa Weekend Post in 2003 and my poems have appeared in several anthologies.
Between 2002 and 2007, I travelled extensively throughout South Africa and visited Lesotho and Namibia. Between January and April 2007, I taught English daily to classes of black African school leavers in two secondary township schools and helped out in a local hospice which housed AIDS and TB child-patients and orphans.
I spend several months a year travelling, principally in South Africa, New Zealand and southern Europe but when I’m home, I work-out in a gym every other day and attend concerts in St David’s Hall and plays at Stratford upon Avon theatres on a regular basis. I’m also a member of The National Trust and enjoy summer outings to its gardens and stately homes.
My debut novel, A Discerning Woman’s Guide To Manhunting, published just before my 69th birthday, is woman-centred and anti-ageist. It’s a romantic comedy set in Wales but it deals head-on with serious social issues common throughout the UK: the under-valuing of older women, care of the elderly, sibling conflict, student debt, lack of accountability of educational and local government personnel and gender imbalance. The tone of the book is honest and direct, the humour is often irreverent and the pace is quick. Several readers who have contacted me have found the book amusing though some think that Geri is rather hard to take; all agree that the contents have made them think. To be able to arouse an intelligent response and a smile in readers is the most any author has a right to expect.



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