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Finding Nita

The year was 2020.  My wild and whimsical first book series required a leading lady who was funny, flawed and feisty. Truthfully, I was stumped. Who could she be? What was her name? The funny thing was that Nita already had plans to fill those big shoes. She was just waiting for me to figure that out.

I felt inspired to name my heroine Nita McPhee. Nita was my mother's name and she had tragically died when I was young as a result of domestic violence. My siblings and I thought that 1974 would be the final time we would have her in our lives. We were wrong. 

The timing was right; the opportunity arose. Nita could return as the protagonist in her daughter's books as soon as a contagiously outrageous illustrator dynamo turned up. And after almost five years of searching, she did! Dotti Colvin did her magic and Nita materialised. The radiant redhead was back, only this time it was HER world: Nita's World

Here's the full story below.... 

Hello and welcome to Nita's World where women, and anyone who identifies as female, is encouraged to fly.

I wish to share some of my background. This is to inspire you to use the gift of choice to steer your life in any direction you choose, regardless of circumstance.


My life has not been straightforward. It has however been propelled forward by my determination to create  happiness out of pain. I also know that vibrations other than earthly ones have watched over me. For that I'm so grateful.

photo mum:me poolside.jpg
Mum and me, poolside

The few memories of my life before the age of five are disturbing. I recall my father instructing me to hold a rifle and wait for my mum to return when it was dark and shoot her. He would have been paralytic drunk. My mother was physically abused by my father and one day we had to flee the house to escape since he had a hot iron and was threatening to brand my mum with it. 

​My alcoholic father died when I was ten and I cried for days. I had seldom seen him but months before his death he had taken me out to a café twice and had turned up sober.  I felt love for a man whom I barely knew but who was my dad after all.

Mum was a solo mother in a society which snubbed any woman divorcee in the 1960s. Back then, few women separated. I thought my mum was  groovy. In the 1960s, groovy meant cool, as in savvy. She had  gorgeous thick curly hair, an effervescent smile and a super friendly personality. I knew we were poor but we had love, loads of it. Mum was elegant and trendy with natural flair and creativity .  She had come from a broken home and had a different perspective on the world anyhow, after fending for herself at age fourteen. She was incredibly resourceful and intent on providing for my sister and me. Our brothers were much older and had families.

Mum had a schizophrenic boyfriend at one stage. Of course she didn’t know this at the start. This man lost the plot one evening, so I rushed to a neighbour and requested they phone the police to save mum and to keep us safe. We never saw him again. 


My childhood was a happy one, despite these incidents. We had little, but my sister and I were so loved and spoilt. The little money mum had was transformed into clothes she would sew, and there were the regular treats from the bakery. Holidays were scarce, but we felt adored. There was a kiss every day before school as I set off in another freshly ironed dress mum had made. Our modest home with a black and white TV and fairy tale books to read in bed was my sanctuary. It was a half-house actually, a villa split down the middle so as to form two identical homes with a wall between them. Mum owned that house and apparently secured it by refusing to move out of the condemned house which she’d sought refuge in. She would have been escaping from my father.

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 Nita Lillian Andrews

At age twelve, I came home one day to find cakes and a note on the table. Mum had married the man she had been dating for some time. A few months after their marriage, I returned from school to see a police car in the distance. Mum's new husband was being ushered in and they'd left before I could make it home.. I went inside,, waiting for someone to come and explain what had happened. Then came a knock on the door and a  tall detective informed me my mum had been murdered. 


This incident made national news. I recall fragments on the six o’clock television news and it was in the local papers for months.  My step-father showed no remorse and was released from jail a mere three and a half years later, having gotten off lightly with a manslaughter charge. An all male jury decided that. 


My aunt said mum thought he offered some stability for her daughters’ futures. But that just didn’t happen.


I do not recall anyone talking to me at the time about my mum’s murder. We were all in shock with the horror of it all.  Counsellors were unheard of back then. Consequently I built up my own set of survival skills to override the insecurities. It’s these life skills I feel to share with you, via my books and writing. It's my way of giving back and healing actually. I read somewhere once that life isn't cured, it is managed. You are one incredible manager in the making!

There was no way that I would allow history to repeat itself. I was intent on being a teacher or lawyer. I was going to show the world that judged my mother that she and I were worthy. I felt this burning desire to re-write the story of condemnation and judgement of society on an innocent woman by being successful and proving the critics wrong. .I guess that huge task allowed no room for vulnerability and being kind to myself. I'm still working on that! Please remember to be kind to yourself. It's crazy how we as women put ourselves on trial for some invisible wrong we never committed.  Practise compassion by remembering your little successes each day. 

This is my story. It's the reason I've written these savvy, sassy life skills books. I want you to grow in confidence

and achieve whatever you put your mind to.  You are your security, remember that.  If things feel off,  you are very capable of finding your way to the on switch.  I'm more than happy to be one of your cheerleaders in the process. And remember, the world is way more supportive and understanding than we often realise. Besides, we're all just a bunch of weirdos wanting love and acceptance and a great big hug! 


Oh and one more thing: action cures doubt.!

Trust yourself, try your best, and don't be frazzled by 'The Fail' . You may end up flapping around in circles but eventually you'll FLY. Failure and frustration are the Blister Sisters of Success.

Frustration is normal. Failure isn't such a big deal once you get used to it (gulp...splurt...splutter).

You got this girl!

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