Why did you choose to become a freelancer?
I became a freelancer after the birth of my daughter, Martha. I didn't want to give up work, but at the same time I didn't want to miss a minute of Martha growing up either. Freelancing means I have the best of both worlds, as I can work mostly in the evenings and during nap times. When Martha starts school I will have more time to work during the day and intend to build up my client list.
If you trained, where? If not, how did you become a freelancer?
I have a BA (Hons) Journalism from the Surrey Institute of Art and Design (now University for the Creative Arts).
Do you specialise in any particular field and what areas do you write about?
I write mainly about pets, for consumer magazines and also for a pet PR company. I would like to branch out into other subject matters in the future.
Which publications have you been published in?
Dogs Today, Your Cat and Over the Counter.
Which articles, in which publication, are you the most proud of?
I'm most proud of the hard-hitting stories I've covered for Dogs Today that have required a lot of research. The discovery of MRSA in pets and the grim reality of puppy farms are two topics that were later picked up by the general media.
What are the best and worst aspects of freelancing?
The best aspect for me is the flexibility of working hours so I can fit it around being a mum. It often means working very late at night but I get to bake and play with Play-doh during the day.
The worst aspect is definitely the irregular funds. I learned quite quickly not to become complacent after a good earning month – it can be followed by two bad ones.
Do you have any interesting anecdotes in relation to your experience as a freelancer?
I used to have an orthopaedic chair at my desk and in the middle of a telephone interview one day it broke beneath me. I ended up on the floor but still had the telephone receiver to my ear. My interviewee kept talking, not realising what had happened, and I made no reference to it, finishing off the interview from my office floor!