Coming from a non-musical family, I was thirteen years old before I asked for piano lessons. I often feel this gives me the advantage of being able to recall both the excitement and music-reading anxieties of the beginner!
I trained at Trinity College of Music, London. Here I obtained my Licentiate Diploma for Piano Teaching (LTCL) and the Graduate Diploma (GTCL Hons) – although I’d been happily teaching the piano for a small fee since I was eighteen years old.
On graduating, I was lucky to be able to combine my love of music and dance by taking a full-time piano teaching post at White Lodge, the Royal Ballet Junior School in Richmond Park. It was also at this time that I took on some adult beginners after school, and before long had a waiting list of them. I was also playing keyboards in two bands in the evening.
Although I was enjoying my busy musical life, after eight years I started to wonder what else I could do. After some study and exams, I went to City University in London to study Optometry and Visual Science, and went on to do a PhD. I then spent 25 years working as a clinical (mostly paediatric) and post-doc research optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital.
Eight years ago I took up writing, and – maybe inspired by the piano teaching character in my first novel – started teaching the piano again. In January 2016 I said goodbye to the hospital to concentrate on my piano teaching and writing (www.cherryradford.co.uk), having moved to Eastbourne with my family. My novel The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter was published in Spring 2018, and having now signed with a literary agent, I’m waiting to find out which publisher will take on my new novels (set in Spain, where I’m now a resident). I blog about my journey to publication – as well as my passion for flamenco, lighthouses and what ever else makes me get my notebook out – on my blog BLA BLA LAND. Do join me there!