At Home By The Sea

Whenever I am asked to give talks, invariably someone will ask me where I get my inspiration from and I tell them I often use my own childhood memories. In There’s Always Tomorrow (aka A Mother’s Gift) the tale of Reg bringing home a pig he won at skittles actually happened, although the man with the pig under his arm was my dad. I was an eight year old kid who crept out of bed to see what was going on. The pig stayed for a couple of weeks in the hen run until the chickens were so upset they stopped laying and he went to market. Dad thought he’d make some money but by the time he’d paid the bloke who took it to market and the auctioneer’s fees, he was out of pocket. 

In Better Days Will Come I drew upon my own experiences as a nursery nurse in the 1960’s for my character Bonnie. Those long hours, a 6 day week, 12 hour day with 2 hours off duty during the day, I knew exactly how exhausting they were – I worked them! 

I once worked in a premature baby unit when a young mum came in to have her first baby. We all felt so sorry for her because she had just discovered that her husband had married her bigamously. I didn’t tell her story of course but I drew from the memory in For Better For Worse.

In my 2020 novel, Goodnight Sweetheart, I have once again drawn from my own life story. I was one of the ‘brown babies’ left behind after WW2 when the Americans went back home.   

Days by the seaside, Christmases, death and loss, birthday parties, and falling in love – I’ve used them all.  So look out for At Home by the Sea – in which I’ve included a favourite bistro I used to go to when I worked in Boscombe hospital (now defunct) in the 1970’s. I wonder if that Italian bistro is still in Landsdowne?

At Home by the Sea will be published on July 22nd 2021.