Born to Oscar and Susan Heim on 9 October 1947 in London, UK, Vivien was an only child and spent a large portion of her childhood living in Malta. The family of three returned to London in 1954. Married at age 24, Vivien pursued a career in education. The premature death of her mother in 1975 came as a huge shock to the family, a tragedy from which none would completely recover. Vivien gave birth to her only daughter, Harriet, in 1988 at age 40. The years between 1993 and 1996 took their toll and following the death of her father, the conclusion of her marriage, redundancy and battling breast cancer, life was hard. In order to support herself and her daughter, Vivien seized every opportunity that emerged. From taking in lodgers to share their home, to training and management consultancy. She is even an official wedding registrar. 


It was through the support network of her friends that she survived with her head held proudly high; a group of women (and the occasional man) who still hold strong and true to each other. 


Through all of this, Vivien made a promise from which she never faltered. She strongly believed that she should not enter into any relationship until Harriet had reached the age of 18. Her dalliances into the world of dating at nearly age 60, having shielded herself from it entirely for the last decade, left her fearful, exposed and self-conscious, yet excited, comforted, and courageous. It is these feelings that inspire her to write.