About Heather MacQuarrie

heather-macquarrie-author.jpgHeather MacQuarrie is a writer of mystery and romance fiction.  Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, she continues to live there but also spends a good deal of her time in Portugal's Algarve region.  She is happily married to Ross and together they have two married sons and two young grandchildren.  Heather has retired from a long career in teaching to pursue other interests and concentrate on her writing.  A Voice from the Past is her first novel and the story continues in the spin off / sequel, In the Greater Scheme of Things. A third book, Blood is Thicker, published in 2015, completes the trilogy. Her fourth book, Broken Cups, marks the beginning of a new adventure. The sequel, Double Cheque, was published in 2018.

Heather has always loved writing from the days when, as a child, she kept a diary and corresponded with penpals across Europe.  A graduate of Stranmillis University College, she became one of those teachers who actually enjoyed the vast amounts of paperwork involved in the job just as much as she relished the social aspects which presented themselves  through her interaction with children, parents and colleagues.  A further period of study at Queen's University Belfast resulted in a DASE qualification in 1989 followed by a Master of Education degree in 1991, when her research into disaffection was published in the TES (Times Educational Supplement).  As a teacher, co-ordinator of various areas of learning, head of key-stage and acting principal she wrote policy documents, reports, lesson plans and schemes, newsletters, agendas and minutes for meetings until she was almost doing it in her sleep.  She particularly enjoyed analysing assessment statistics and trying to find ways to combat the causes of any apparent underachievement.  Heather loved her job in teaching and considers herself very fortunate to have worked in a school where the whole staff were very dedicated and committed to creating a stimulating learning environment to enrich the life chances of the pupils.  

Thirty-eight years on and it was time for a change.  In her own words:

I started to write as a hobby because I love reading myself.  I have often read a good book which has made me laugh or cry and have ended up wishing that I could touch people's emotions like that, that I could create for others the wonderful sense of escapism that I had experienced.  On other occasions I have read a book which has disappointed me.  It has been just too predictable or I haven't warmed to the characters.  Sometimes it has just fizzled out without a decent ending.  I have found myself thinking that I could have written a better story myself.  My inspiration for the particular novels I have penned probably comes from reflecting on the complexity of some people's lives and identities in modern society. - Heather MacQuarrie