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Keri Phillips, Author

When I was seven years old, living in Motspur Park, I borrowed a Famous Five book from my local library. I read it avidly and returned at lunchtime to borrow another. I was devastated to discover that the rules would not allow it. I would have to wait till the following day!

My vivid recollection of that moment reminds me of my love of reading; over the years writing has become equally important to me. Once I have a moment of inspiration then the universe is generous and showers me with experiences on which I can draw. For example, as described in the Preface of my latest book, 'Coaching and Betrayal', suddenly bursting into tears whilst attending a service at the Russian Orthodox Church in London, gave me many insights into the topic I was researching.

Over the years I have had the pleasure of co-authorship with many fine writers. For example, quite often with Patricia Shaw when writing ‘A Consultancy Approach for Trainers and Developers’ (Gower 1998), I would launch a relentless stream of consciousness on paper and then she would elegantly pick her way through it, extracting the occasional pearl, then creating a fine necklace; or conceptual model.Recently however, I suspect prompted by the sudden death of my parents in 2002 and the growing awareness of my mortality, I have been keen to write on my own. My aim has still been to be stimulating,challenging and accessible. I would obviously leave my readers to be the judge of my success, if any, here. However,along with sole authorship I have been keen to write shorter books, each perhaps twenty thousand words, which can be read within a couple of hours. The first of these was 'Coaching in Organisations: Between the Lines'. In reflecting on this I am keen to pay tribute to my friend and colleague Jean Boulton who was an amazingly generous and incisive editor. Incidentally she is currently writing with Peter Allen a book on complexity theory which is due to be published next year. ‘Embracing Complexity’. Oxford University Press. Her web-site,, also gives access to her articles on this fascinating topic.

Although I had not planned it, there then followed another five short books. Each almost emerged from nowhere- some colleagues wanting a brief, but in-depth overview of transactional analysis ('Transactional Analysis in Organisations'); my suddenly surprising myself by saying "Intuition", when my university supervisor asked me about the intended topic for my dissertation ('Intuition in Coaching'); a client and supervisee wanting some basic guidance in how he might be more creative in his coaching ( 'Creative Coaching :Doing and Being');Maria Gilbert making an inspiring presentation at the British Association for Supervision Practice and Research ('Fragmentation at Integrstion').

It seems, and indeed is, many years since I was first 'properly' in print - an article for the Journal of International Relations on 'The Prospects for Guerrilla Warfare in South Africa', in 1972. My writing, including some of the fallow periods, has been an important part of who I am and who I aim to be. At present I do not know if there is more I wish to write. What I do know, is that if I allow my initial stimulus to be obligation rather than desire, then the whole project becomes superficial and ultimately futile. I will continue to be open to possibilities.