Carola Dunn, Author

TrillianLoveI was born in London and grew up in the little Buckinghamshire village of Jordans, known to many Americans because William Penn and his two (not cotemporaneous) wives are buried at the Meeting House (as are my mother and grandmother).  I and my sister and brother used to play leapfrog over the gravestones on Sundays after meeting.

Jordans-mtghse

At 11, I went away to Friends’ School, Saffron Walden, a Quaker co-ed boarding school in Essex. I missed several weeks of my first term–flu followed by mumps–with the result that I have never understood the Roman occupation of Britain or the purpose of Hadrian’s Wall.  Otherwise I was, of course, a brilliant scholar.  The only subjects I ever failed were domestic science, physics, and history, leading to a lifelong hatred of housework, interest in science and science fiction, and fascination with history.  Actually, the history failure came about–for  reasons too longwinded to go into here–because I wrote an exam paper in the style of 1066 And All That, a book with which English readers may be familiar.  All I recall of my paper is that I had Wellington defeating a Salamander in Spain.  I spent a summer in Israel waiting anxiously for my final exam results–A levels in Chemistry and French.

FSSW

Next came Manchester University, where much to my disgust I was forced to do another year of Latin along with my main subjects, Russian and French.  However,  I also managed a year of Spanish, which later proved useful.  Also, I had a good excuse to go to East Europe: Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, E. Germany, Russia, Estonia, Ukraine.   BA in hand, all I knew was that I didn’t want to be a teacher, so I took a secretarial course for graduates at Oxford Tech.  A few months as a secretary, though I was doing comparatively interesting work for Oxfam, taught me I didn’t want to be a secretary either.  So I set off around the world.

I made it as far as Samoa and Fiji before returning to the US to get married.  A son quickly appeared, and as he showed early signs of an addiction to surfing I knew I was stuck in Southern California for the next 20 years.  I went through a variety of jobs: childcare, market research, construction, building design, writing definitions for a dictionary of science and technology, before writing my first book in 1979.


Incredibly lucky, I sold it, and I’ve been writing ever since.toblethorpe_manor

In 1992 I moved to Eugene, Oregon, where I live with my rescued Border Collie, Trillian.  She takes me for a  walk by the Willamette River every morning, rain or shine, fog or snow (I draw the line at freezing rain).  I  write with binoculars beside the computer to watch backyard birds, grow fruit and veg and flowers, and play the recorder.

river sunrise 004

My son, now married and a teacher but still surfing, has presented me with 2 grandchildren.  Maggie’s  first visit to the beach was at 9 days old and in March, when she was 6 months, we all went to England together. I started reading to her at 3 months. Start ’em young…!  Now I have a grandson too, Colin, and last June he got his introduction to England, visiting family and friends.

Bekonscot18



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One Response to “Carola Dunn, Author”

  1. SHIRLEY KAISER Says:

    I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO READING YOUR BLACK SHIP, AND SHEER FOLLY BOOKS. I READ ON KINDLE READER. WHEN WILL THOSE BOOKS BE AVAILABLE FOR KINDLE ON AMAZON? I WOULD GLADLY PAY BOOK PRICE TO RECEIVE THEM EARLY.

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