Verityʼs Voice

So, who is Maria de la Mann?

Her early life was spent initially in Chatham, part of the the Medway Towns in Kent, a county in South East England. Her family moved to Sittingbourne, also in Kent where she went to secondary school, excelling in art primarily and also writing poetry and song lyrics.

She was to return to the Medway Towns to attend art college in Rochester, which she loved, finishing her course with a well earned diploma. Like so many art students she found that earning a living as an artist was far from easy, so she took work as a cartographer to keep a roof over her head and a veggie burger on the table.

Her interest in song writing grew and grew over the years and her songbook of original work grew with it. A demo tape gained interest from a record label and, whilst making more recordings, she teamed up with a guitarist and a keyboard player to form her trio, The Butterflies.

Gigs, locally and then in London, including at the famous Mean Fiddler, followed and many people grew to delight in her very original songs and music… but… there was a spanner lurking in the works. The combination of work issues, keeping the band going, ‘looking after’ too much for too many, and other personal events would lead to her feeling gradually more and more ill, eventually being diagnosed with M.E. (or CFS as it’s also known).

Everything had to stop and years of severe fatigue and pain were to come. However in the midst of it all she somehow managed to conceive, write, illustrate and get published her first book, in 2005, Verity Red’s Diary – A Story of Surviving M.E.

Since then she has written and had published many more books, developing her talent as an author and illustrator, and always has another creation in the pipeline, even when she’s exhausted and convinced she’s definitely never (ever) going to write another!

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And the last word, from Paddy

“I didn’t munch your manuscript mummy. It wasn’t me, honestly!”