21. sept., 2018



I never thought I would ever do this. History was not my best subject at school. I had no interest in it at all. However, I was very interested in writing sagas set in the 19th and 20th centuries and this took me into researching the times and places where my characters lived. At first, it was hard – still is at times. I inevitably end up with a fat file of research notes bigger than the finished novel.

Fascination, however, soon took over. I am now hooked on historic research and often get ideas and inspiration from real life events that happened in the past.

Take Voices of the Morning, set in the thirties in north-east England [my home counties] at the time of the Jarrow Crusades and the miners’ strikes. Coming from a long line of mining folk there was an added incentive to write about my kind of people, but with a story of high-level suspense woven in and around actual historic fact.

For me, the story is the most important thing, with characters that draw the reader in, make them turn the pages, holding their breath and getting involved with protagonists that aren’t particularly glamorous – just ordinary souls that get caught up in dangerous, frightening situations, such as murder and rape and anything else I can dredge up from my imagination – sometimes autobiographic details that give the story a touch of reality.

The ‘blurb’ is always the most difficult thing to write, because how can you squeeze into a few words the true essence of the whole novel. But here it is for Voices of the Morning:

The last thing Patrick Flynn wants is another mouth to feed, so he does his best to ensure that Billy does not survive. But survive he does, with the help of a warm-hearted prostitute and Laura Caldwell, the daughter of a wealthy local family. Patrick deserts his family and Billy struggles to eke out a meagre living, all the while looking after his alcoholic mother. As he matures, so does his obsession with Laura. One day, he dreams, he will win her heart, but Laura has other ideas, and it is with Bridget, the prostitute’s daughter that Billy joins the Jarrow crusaders marching to London to demonstrate against unemployment. Neither of them, however, is prepared for the reappearance of the evil Patrick Flynn…

This is not the only 5-star review Voices of the Morning received, but what author could ask for better?

***** Loved it! WOW! Talk about being on the edge of your seat. This book was amazing. I had no idea what was coming next. [by BOOKLOVER64]


And getting a write-up in the local press was a great bonus too. 


In the book, the hero, because of his short stature, got the nick-name of Billy Big Boots because the hand-me-down boots from his brothers were far too big for him. One lady, who had bought the book as a birthday present for her husband, was a teddy-bear maker and she made a teddy-bear and sent it to me. He bears a medallion around his neck with his name on it.  How nice is that! I love my furry Billy Big Boots and no child will ever get it – not because I’m mean, but because this lady uses lead shot to fill the bears with [husband was a game-keeper and the lead shot was spare!]