Elizabeth Chats With…Maureen Boon
My guest this month is a fellow member of Chudleigh Writers’ Circle. She retired as Headteacher of Vranch House, an independent school for children with physical disabilities in Exeter, having worked with children with movement disorders for over thirty years, and previously taught in primary schools. She now writes children’s books, both fiction and non-fiction, around the topic of dyspraxia. I’m delighted to be chatting to Maureen Boon.
Hello, Maureen and welcome. Let’s start right back at the beginning. What is your earliest memory — and how old were you at the time?
This was of my grandad bringing me a little bottle of pineapple juice (which I loved) back from the pub. As he died just before I was two, this was definitely my first memory.
What was your favourite subject at school — and which was the lesson you always wanted to avoid?
It was definitely English overall and when I was at Primary School I would say it was story writing. My worst subject was Domestic Science, specifically cooking, because things always went wrong and I was marked at or near the bottom of the class. The strange thing was that I used to cook at home and everything was fine. Maybe it was the teacher.
Talking about yourself, how would you finish the sentence “not a lot of people know…”?
I once played Golda in Fiddler on the Roof at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter.
How do you relax?
I like to walk my dog, read a book and watch television (especially dramas).
If you could change one thing about yourself or your life so far, what would it be?
Not to worry. Most things I have worried about have never happened.
Watch a film, go to the theatre, read a book or talk to friends — which would you prefer?
Absolutely, it would be to read a book. Sometimes I have to deliberately stop for several days so that it doesn’t take over my life!
How did you start writing books?
When I was headteacher at Vranch House School in Exeter, I was approached by Jessica Kingsley Publishing for someone at the school and therapy centre to write a book on dyspraxia. As no one was interested, I wrote Helping Children with Dyspraxia. It was later published in a second updated and expanded edition as Understanding Dyspraxia. Following this, I wrote Can I tell you about Dyspraxia? which is written from a child’s perspective. This latter book gave me the inspiration to write a children’s adventure story, Ant’s Awesome Adventure, based around a boy who had dyspraxia which I self-published on Amazon. This was followed by Bearly Believable, a children’s picture book which was illustrated by local artist, Deirdre Stewart.