English teacher Rose Alexander pens first novel set in Kentish Town and Portugal

Rose Alexander

Rose Alexander - Credit: Archant

The mother of three writes “in the holidays, weekends and evenings, whenever I have a chance”

“I’ve had more careers than I care to mention and am currently working as a secondary school English teacher,”

says debut author Rose Alexander.

The mother of three who writes “in the holidays, weekends and evenings, whenever I have a chance” started her debut novel four years ago once her children had all started school.

She finished Garden of Stars (Carina UK) while qualifying as a teacher on the demanding Teach First programme including on the job training at Parliament Hill School.

For six months of what she calls a “competitive challenging and demanding” training that she equates to being “knocked over by a bus”, she had to move out of the house because the bedroom ceiling caved in.

Partly set in Kentish Town where she has lived for 20 years, the novel follows the fortunes of Sarah Lacey who takes her great aunt Ines’ journal with her to Portugal while on an assignment to write about cork. Haunted by her own crumbling marriage and yearning for a lost love, Sarah reads the journal and is transported back to Portugal in the 30s as an 18-year-old Ines is on the verge of marriage. Hidden between its pages is a secret passion, a missed chance and lost love that may just offer hope for Sarah.

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To market her book the former TV director and journalist started a website and blog rosealexander.co.uk and used social media and Twitter to contact other bloggers and potential readers.

The Kindle book is achieving word of mouth success, rising up the Amazon charts with sales in the thousands.

Now teaching at a school in Islington Alexander feels it’s “quite some achievement.”

“I’ve had to work unbelievably hard to gain qualified teacher status at the same time as publishing my first novel.”