My first published book didn’t have quite the same beginning as others I had written. Usually I delve deep into my my memory and write in the first person but this one was totally different, and one that I never guessed would do so much good. It all began because of an illness and my totally bored octogenarian mother.
This is the story. It started it one gloomy winter’s day a couple of years ago. Unusually I was at a loss to know what to do, so I let myself daydream for a moment. I’d been reading Alison Uttley’s lovely autobiographical books and Thomas Hardy, my favourite all time novelist. My daydream was hardly original. You can imagine the sort of thing, young woman in period dress opens a gnarled, ancient, wooden door to her parents’ home. A little while later she’s skipping along an ancient green path on her way to her job in the big house when she falls and breaks her ankle and has no way of getting home.
Well, that was it, real life intervened and I got caught up in a flurry of family duty and I forgot all about that book, believing that my future lay in writing fiction books about social work, which I enjoy and have had a lot of interest in. But my mother became ill, she desperately needed a hip replacement but her bad heart prevented her undergoing any sort of surgery.
Visits to her became difficult, we couldn’t take our usual trips around the shops and she was very bored. So I told her about my story and we were both enthralled. Mum made quite a few helpful suggestions about character, motive and so on. Before long I had a plot.
I wrote it up, thinking it needed to be 50,000 words but it ended at 40,000, so I left it on my hard disk and there it stayed for many months. Then one day someone sent me a link to the People’s Friend message board and on there was a call for stories for their Pocket Novels – and guess what, they wanted stories of 40,000 words!
So I rescued the story from a dry and dusty corner of the hard drive, gave it a bit of a polish, and sent it off to Tracey Steele. Within a day she asked for the full, within a week she’d bought it!
I was delighted! Tracey arranged to put mum’s name, Margaret Pardoe, on the cover leaving my Lynne Pardoe name free for my social work stories, so people know what they’re buying when they look at each.
Well, it hasn’t quite spawned a miracle, mum still isn’t very well, but she is so chuffed to have her name on the cover and I’m so pleased it was accepted. It bought us closer together. I liked the story, I have a soft spot for the heroine, who took a big risk to do what is right. It’s my baby and I was really chuffed to see it on the shelves!