HOW I CAME TO BE A SAGA WRITER
My becoming a saga writer can be traced back to my ancestry and childhood. Though the latter was set in poverty, my mother was genteel and very well educated. This gave me recourse to a lot more material and encouragement that may not otherwise have been afforded me. No other child of my standing had all the classics on a shelf in the living room. A legacy from my mother’s former life – a world of make-believe for me.
Mother would often say I took after Dora Langlois, my great grandmother, with how I had my head constantly in a book and wove fantastic tales around small happenings.
This was more than a compliment as Dora had been an author in the late 1800’s early 1900’s – I was thrilled to discover recently, her book, and to obtain a copy. It's tittle is: In the Shadow of Pamenkhi.
Many of my characters and scenes in my sagas have been influenced by stories from my parents. Being from different classes they gave me an insight into both worlds – the privileged and the poor, and I learned how women from each end of the class divide had their crosses to bear.
For example major decisions concerning her children were taken without consulting my upper-class maternal grandmother – decisions which broke her heart, not least the turning out of my mother when it was found she was pregnant with a lad from the East End.
Whilst my paternal grandmother lived a life of drudgery and deep poverty, at the beck and call of her many children and her husband, and yet, took in to her humble home, my mother, whom she considered to be a lady.
I never met my grandmothers, but the difference in their lifestyles was tremendous, these showed through their children. My mother liked everything to be genteel. She would always lay the table with a cloth, often one embroidered by herself. She sat for her one cup of coffee a day after dinner and she skimmed the cream off the milk to have with it. Somehow she had acquired a china cup and none of us dared to touch it. She would lay her tray with an immaculate, dainty white cloth, again embroidered by herself, whereas dad, would slurp his tea out of his saucer, and drink the remains of his gravy from his plate.
All of this provided a rich tapestry for me to develop my hunger to write and materialised in sagas that have been very successful on kindle.
Given to writing series, the timeline of my stories brought me up to the war, and a new fascination developed – women’s roles during the Second World War.
The first book I wrote set in this period, caught the attention on kindle of my now editor, Louise Buckley of Pan MacMillan publishers, and through her endeavours and those of my agent, Judith Murdoch, I am at last realising my dream of becoming a traditionally published saga author, I cannot thank them enough.