Article published on March 18, 2016.
I started writing poetry when I was eight years old for my primary school teacher, Mrs Doohan. She thought I was a genius and inflated my ego on a daily basis. On sunny days, she would insist I sit outside the classroom on a little patch of grass, while my classmates remained indoors, sweating over their sums. The reason she gave was that a ‘poet’ required ‘inspirational surroundings’. Keen to live up to her expectations, I produced a book of about forty or fifty poems within just a few months…and I remember nearly all of them. One was even published in national magazine for young writers:
‘My Gran’s epileptic’, declared little Tommy Brown.
‘What does “peleleptic” mean ?’ asked Billy with a frown.
Tommy looked quite thoughtful and said, ‘I’m not so sure,
But I think it’s when you’re really fit and do press-ups on the floor.’
‘Is your Gran really fit?’ asked Billy with surprise,
‘I can’t say that she looks it, are you telling me some lies?’
‘No, no,’ protested Tommy, ‘I really can explain,
It all began, when my fit Gran, had this little pain.
She did a forward roll and then press-ups on the floor
And Mummy looked quite shocked when she walked in through the door.
She said, ‘Now, now Tommy, don’t you worry dear,
For Granny’s epileptic and there’s not a thing to fear.
So now you see, Billy, why my Granny’s very sporty.’
Billy said, ‘You’re lying! And you’re being very naughty!’
Tommy doubled up his fists and said, ‘You horrid little man!
You’re just really jealous of my epileptic Gran.’
The lovely Mrs Doohan unleashed a passion in me which drove and inspired me for the next ten years. Between the ages of eight and eighteen, I wrote a film script, short stories, two novels and endless books of poetry. And then…
…I stopped. I went to University where I studied, analysed, questioned, probed, dissected, deconstructed…but stopped creating. I’ve never quite worked out why. Burn-out, perhaps? Or maybe a loss of confidence? Or just plain old ‘writer’s block’. Whatever the reason, despite trying on numerous occasions, I could no longer make the connection between mind and pen. Then, about seven years ago, I was on maternity leave from work and I began to scribble down a few ideas which had been swirling around my sleep-deprived brain; my thoughts on motherhood, combined with observations and anecdotes based on my job as a Special Educational Needs teacher. I soon realised that what I was actually writing was a novel and the result was ‘That Special Someone’, the story of a mother’s quest to help her learning-disabled daughter find love.
I was very lucky to be taken on by a wonderful publisher called Stephanie Zia, who is committed to publishing quality titles through her company, Blackbird Digital Books. Since then, I’ve completed a second book, a novella called, ‘Homecoming’, which is also being published by Blackbird in April. What’s more, I’m part way through a detective novel, so it seems that now the ink is flowing again, I just can’t stop it! I’ve decided to make the most of it and be as prolific as I can before the next fifteen year drought…
Rosie and Tom belong together.
For too long, war and its devastating aftermath have kept them apart.
Now that Tom has finally returned home, Rosie hopes that they will be able to put the past behind them.
But when a mysterious sequence of events unfolds, their love is put to the test once more
With a shocking secret hanging heavily over their relationship…
With circumstances conspiring against them at every turn…
Rosie and Tom find themselves caught up in the biggest battle of their lives.
Will their demons ultimately consume them?
Or will love conquer all in the end?
An intriguing novella by the award-winning film-maker, a finalist in The People’s Book Prize and The Beryl Bainbridge First Time Author Award 2016 for her first novel That Special Someone Awards ceremony 12 July 2016, Sky TV News.
The Canary Girls by Rosie Archer