About MWD

MWD Publishing exists to provide a channel for the writing of Mickie Wynne-Davies, a sixty-something grandmother who lives with her husband in a house near Le Lavandou, on the Côte d'Azur. Occasionally they return to a pied-à-terre in Surrey to catch up with their two sons and three grandchildren.

Mickie first starting submitting articles to magazines when she worked as Practice Manager/Receptionist at her husband's dental practice in Orpington (London Borough of Bromley). Dental Practice, a monthly publication mailed free to surgeries nationwide, accepted several of her pieces, which were in a light-hearted vein and provided a contrast to the more serious, clinical articles which are the mainstay of the journal. The first of these - 'Patient Bites' - arose as a result of the many amusing anecdotes she began to record, when she realised that dental receptionists have a very special place in the lives of patients: confidante, a friendly and reassuring presence in an otherwise, mostly stressful, experience.

Learning to use a computer, and in particular a word processor, was the trigger which had galvanised Mickie's latent writing career into action. Two years at the secretarial college of the Lycée Français de Londres in South Kensington in the early 60s had equipped her with keyboard skills, learned the hard way, on manual typewriters. Subsequent jobs saw her progress to using the electric typewriter and the electronic typewriter, but she quit work just as the PC revolution got under way; she spent the late 70s, all the 80s and early 90s as a full-time mum. And quite a mature, full-time mum, so coping with an active creative life as well just wasn't an option.

In 1997 she enrolled on a 'Computers for Beginners' course at East Surrey College, achieved City & Guilds basic qualifications and, most importantly, learned no longer to regard the PC with suspicion. Suddenly, writing was fun! The laborious task of correcting typing mistakes no longer existed; not only that, saving, changing, editing and copying became trouble-free tasks.

She started working with her husband at the surgery when the previous Practice Manager retired and continued until he retired, and they sold the practice, in 2002. Now she was (reasonably) computer literate, she could cope with the patients' records and other aspects of the job. However, there were many times when she found herself looking for things to do, especially if a patient had a long appointment and there were no others waiting to talk to. It was a single-handed, family-oriented practice and many of the patients had become friends over the years. It was easy and natural to strike up conversations with the occupants of the waiting room. Soon Mickie realised many of the amusing remarks and anecdotes she had recorded could be worked into an article - no real names, of course - and so her free-lance journalistic career began.

Outside of the surgery, Mickie had been involved, since 1996, with the fund-raising initiative for The Orpheus Trust (www.orpheus.org.uk), set up by writer and broadcaster, Richard Stilgoe. From this acquaintance, she was able to persuade him to allow her to interview him at his Limpsfield Chart home, and the resulting article appeared in Surrey Life.

Another short biographical piece, about Emily Fox, a young lady born with cerebral palsy, who was one of the first students at the Orpheus Centre, was accepted by Dance Expression magazine.

In the year 2000, a chance conversation about her writing with a dental company representative on a routine visit to the surgery provided the impetus to embark on a project to produce a children's book about a tooth fairy. Up until that point, Mickie's success had been as a non-fiction writer, but she had long nurtured the idea for a fiction work.

She wrote two paragraphs - and then realised she had no idea where to go next! Reading, research and, most importantly, thinking led to the development of the plot of 'The Adventures of Tilly Twinkle' and she continued, on and off (and there were a lot of 'offs') to write the story until it was finally completed in January 2006. Encouragement from friends within a writing circle she had joined in the Var (the French department in which she and her husband now lived) had spurred her on to finish the book in time to submit it for a competition organised by Saga magazine and publishers, Harper Collins. Needless to say, it didn't win!

However, a further six years later, after much editing and rewriting, submissions and rejections, an appearance on youwriteon.com (to very encouraging reviews), Tilly won't go away and will be appearing in print in 2012. The author's name is Frances Stephens: Mickie decided to use the pen name, which consists of her second Christan name and maiden surname, to keep her fiction work distinct from non-fiction writing.



© Mickie Wynne-Davies 2012