Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

My Place; Durham Novelist Avril Joy Speaks to the Journal on Her My Place

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

My Place; Durham Novelist Avril Joy Speaks to the Journal on Her My Place

Article excerpt

Byline: Avril Joy

VRIL, 56, was born in Burnham-on-Sea and grew up on the Somerset Levels. She studied history of art at the University of East Anglia before working as a teacher in London and County Durham.

After a period in India, she began to teach at Low Newton women's prison, on the outskirts of Durham, where she is now head of learning and skills.

In 2003, she was awarded a Northern Promise Award by New Writing North. She lives with her partner and has two children.

Her first novel was published by Flambard Press in October last year.

Where do you live?

A village in County Durham.

How long have you lived there?

Twenty years.

What's your dream home?

A large Edwardian house in a city with at least three or four floors and a walled south-facing garden.

How do you get around (walk, car, public transport, private jet)?

I use the car but I'd like to walk more.

What is your favourite part of the North-East?

I think probably it'd have to be parts of Durham City and the Quayside in Newcastle.

What is your favourite building in the region?

Bishop Auckland Town Hall library because it has lots of fond memories for me, as my writing career began at workshops there. It's also a beautiful French-style building and one of the best things about Bishop Auckland.

What is the best holiday you've ever had?

It was when I took nine months off work to go travelling in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. It was a life experience, I learnt a lot about myself and where I was.

What's the favourite thing in your home?

My favourite thing in or about my home is that it's full of light. There's lots of glass and lots of light, working in a prison, it's great to have that to come back to.

If you could have one luxury what would it be?

It would be a study that was not also a bedroom or somewhere to get dressed!

What are you working on at the moment?

I'm working on a novel about a woman who is in prison, it's getting near to completion.

Who or what is the love of your life?

My children.

What is your favourite shop?

A flower shop, any really good florist shop. …

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