It’s very poor planning to be born in a war-torn city. But I was. We were bombed out of three London homes and ‘escaped’ to Yorkshire in the north of England. My father was left behind, shucked off like a spiky carapace by my mother. The small up-tight northern town we moved to didn’t avoid the mayhem. It had the bad luck to sit next to the iron and steel works—a definite attraction for incoming bombers. So you might say that I grew up in the midst of mayhem, some of it caused by my mother’s boyfriends.
Truly, there were perks: a long golden beach and sandbanks that turned into whatever we kids imagined. Beyond the town, Heathcliff’s moors beckoned, as did bluebell woods and ancient ruins. All fine backdrops for the stories I was always spinning. Trouble is, when you leave school, a living has to be earned. So it was back to London and then on to Canada.
I have often been asked why I write. It was never an option but an on-going need from very early in life. Although I wandered in and out of a variety of jobs through the years: scraping maggots off sides of bacon in a green grocers, sewing the left leg into men’s pants in a factory. (Honestly, did they really think it was too subversive, or titillating, for the female workers to tackle a full set of male pants?) The best job, bar none, I ever had was at a movie theatre (picture house in Brit speak). We saw all the latest movies and got to chat and be chatted up by the local male talent. Come to think of it there wasn’t a lot of talent available until hundreds of cadets hit town each year.
It was a strange and, at times, a strangely colourful life, full of odd characters and odder situations. It was all grist for the story-telling mill, so to speak. And here I am, after years of producing words for clients, I now have the time to write my own stories that have been clamoring to be heard.
This month my second e-novel, a contemporary romance, Luscious & Lethal, will be published by MuseItUp Publishing. Exciting? You bet. I think I was stunned last year when publisher Lea Schiza told me they wanted to publish my first book, Taming the Hawk. This time around I get to enjoy the process.
As a child I wanted to be a newspaper journalist, writing about the kind of stories and people that were overlooked in class-conscious England. Of course, the stories usually had to do with the downtrodden, the poor and disenfranchised. Okay, I grew past the angst-ridden girl I was and now I write stories about people who find a way to rise above the screwy hand they are dealt in life. Unfortunately, that isn’t possible for far too many people around the world. But this is storytelling and I develop characters that fall down, struggle, then rise to fight again. Like Anton battling a drug problem in Taming the Hawk and Dani, who learns to kick butt in Luscious & Lethal.
Writing is an escape, a chance to world build, a blackboard upon which the past can be re-arranged and made better—or worse if you are that kind of writer. If I could change something about my writing, it isn’t about putting words on paper, it’s about finding more time. I know writers sometimes hit a block, I did that once on the death of my long-time companion, but writing wouldn’t be denied. Now I have too many ideas and not enough time to explore the possibilities. Time has a way of speeding on and leaving me behind.
Here’s a question: If I could change one thing in this world what would it be? I’m really not a fatalist, but, sadly, I’ve come to the realization that to wish for world peace is futile. There will always be individuals and entities that create wars. My hope is that soon someone will discover a cure for cancer, Parkinson’s Disease and diabetes. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Luscious & Lethal
All is not what it seems in peaceful Jancy’s Cove. Renowned New York model and designer, Dani Renaldo, believes her new home on the shores of the Atlantic will provide a peaceful haven after an abusive marriage and the loss of her unborn child. But peace is a rare commodity.
Someone stalks the dark shadows and a boat slides into the cove after midnight. Between unknown prowlers and an arrogant but sexy neighbour who is determined to claim her, Dani wonders if the mean streets of New York would be less hazardous to her well-being.
My thanks to Marian Lanouette for allowing me to rant on her blog and thanks to those who stop by to spend a few minutes in my weird world.