Due to the Luftwaffe having bombed the local maternity hospital in Liverpool, I was born in a boarding house in Blackpool in 1941. I was the first daughter after two sons, Ronald and Donald, and in no time at all I was whisked back to Liverpool to join them. My sister Irene was born eighteen months later in our front parlour.
It was not until my dad, Stanley Nelson was demobbed in the spring of 1946 and sat me on his knee and told me stories. Books were a luxury that my parents could not afford and that was why visiting the local library was a twice weekly event for me. One of my biggest regrets is that Dad died before my first book was published.
I passed the eleven + and attended Liverpool Girls’ College. I left at sixteen with 2 O levels in English Lit and History. I was later to gain English Language and Geography as an adult. I believed it an impossible dream for a working class girl like me to be a writer, so I became a cash clerk for Littlewoods and it was there I learnt to type.
I met my husband John in the local picture house when I was sixteen. We married six years later in a double ceremony with my sister and her fiancé when I was twenty-two. We moved to the outskirts of Liverpool and I became a stay-at-home Mum with three sons. During which time I started a playgroup in my local church hall which I ran for ten years. It was not until the boys were at school that I decided to have a go at fulfilling my dream of being a writer. Due to a vicar’s wife who did some writing, I became the editor of the church magazine and just as importantly she introduced me to Crosby Writers’ Group. I had my own typewriter, an old Underwood, circa 1930s and a supply of scrap paper, provided by my printer husband I set about the tough task of learning to write for publication.
I never looked back, although it took me a year or so to have my first article accepted by MY WEEKLY magazine. Despite having numerous articles published and some short stories on Radio Merseyside, my heart was in the novel. Due to a published writer friend, I was encouraged to finish a medieval historical romance which after two years of rewriting was accepted by Mills & Boon.
But I wanted to write a story set in my own city of Liverpool. It took me two years and a lot of research. During that time I gained an agent, a word processor and eventually another publisher.
I have had twenty-two sagas published, as well as thirteen historical romances. Apart from writing, I enjoy swimming, reading, doing jigsaws, films, walking, chattering with friends and family and tracing my ancestry. I still live on Merseyside.
23/06/1949. This photo appeared in the Liverpool Echo as the class had made all the fruit, vegetables and flowers on the stall from paper-mache and tissue paper. June is the girl with plaits on the left in profile. The girl next to her is Evelyn Lynch, the boy, Kevin Clark. On the right were Monica Blakeman and a girl called Barbara.
June and her sister Irene. June is wearing the white gloves and both have net underskirts under their frocks as was popular in the late fifties.
June at the Cafe Royale for an RNA Award lunch in the nineties.
October 1996 at Ormskirk Library: Crime writer Martin Edwards: vice president of the RNA and novelist Sheila Walsh, article writer, Alison Whyte: saga writers, June Francis: Joan Jonker: Mabel Fisher, owner of the bookstall in Ormskirk market: saga writers, Lyn Andrews: Anne Baker: Elizabeth Murphy: and Mary, writer and member of Crosby Writers Club.