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People often assume that my writing, particularly my stories about childhood or teaching , are autobiographical. They aren't. I have led a very boring life that nobody would want to read about. But sometimes I take a situation from my real life and use it as the basis of a story. My mum really was a teacher at my school and it was a family joke that I would ignore her whenever we passed in the corridor. She is not the headteacher in my story though. My mum had nothing but compassion for the children she taught. She would have been more likely to take poor Carol home with us, if Carol had ever existed. Which she didn't. What is true is the feeling of oddness and isolation that Angela experiences. I never fitted in. I still don't. But I like that now. Better to be odd than ordinary.