Lisa has always loved stories. Listening to stories, telling stories and creating stories, so it’s no wonder she works as a journalist and writer of memoirs. Everyone has a story inside of them and Lisa enjoys nothing more than hearing about the life experiences and anecdotes of others. A published author, when she’s not writing, Lisa can be found either reading or playing poker – but that’s another story.

As a Story Terrace writer, Lisa interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better: you can read an autobiographical story of her own below. Get in touch today to work with her!

Sophia

I was raised in Seventies South London, part of a huge extended family with close bonds. The history of my family was the subject of much rumour and speculation. Some relatives claimed we were Spanish, others claimed Irish and there was even a rumour that we were related to French aristocracy. As a child this all sounded wonderfully exotic and exciting.

When I was about nine years old, my mother decided to do some digging in an attempt to trace back our family’s roots. She managed to go back a couple of hundred years, but the day which has always stayed with me, was when she managed to get hold of her grandfather’s birth certificate.

Fergus Hart was born in January 1879, near London’s Waterloo Station. His parents were John and Sophia. In the space where Sophia had to sign her name, there was simply an x and the words, the mark of Sophia Hart, mother.

Why hadn’t she signed the certificate? My mother explained it was because she didn’t know how to write. I was stunned to discover that impoverished girls rarely enjoyed any type of education, meaning they never learnt to read or write. At that age, reading and writing were my life. I remember crying for Sophia and her lack of opportunity.

As I grew older, I was determined to work as hard as I could at school as a tribute to Sophia and all those other girls who lacked the chance to fulfil their potential. This drive meant that I was the first person in my family to ever go to university. Every time I achieve a personal ambition – getting to university, studying at Oxford, writing for the national press, having a book published, I think of Sophia and hope she is with me in spirit.

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