Creating characters for our books can be difficult, but it can also be fun. My main characters tend to create themselves long before I’ve started writing. It’s the secondary characters that give me the most fun and pleasure as I often base them on people I know – or, at least, take the most interesting or amusing characteristics from a number of them and stitch them together to form one appealing member of the cast. One of my favourite secondary characters is my grandfather, who often seems to creep into my books in one way or another. The first time I used him was in ‘When Tomorrow Comes’. He appeared as Hildie’s miner husband, Tommy Thompson.
In real life he was John Peel Richardson, a hard-working miner who had fought in the First World War, when he was gassed, blown up and shell-shocked. He was sent back to England and expected to die, but he was a survivor. Just a small, quiet, gentle man who liked to read westerns and didn’t go out to the pub every Sunday like the rest of the men who spent their working lives digging for coal underground. He never took a day off work and never got involved in any argument with the females in the house – his wife Polly, his daughters Ruby and Edith – and me. His well-known response to most things was: ‘I’m sayin’ nowt.’
While recuperating in the hospital during the war, having gone through the Battle of the Somme, he was shown how to crochet and I am proud to say that I have his lovely work of a hundred years ago. He tried to enlist for WW2 but was too old and was thus given the job of Special Constable. He died at the age of 79 and still, to this day, my memories of him are strong. Never having known my father, John Peel aka Jack, was a father-figure to me. In the book he, playing the part of Tommy, has an affair with Florrie, the next-door neighbour. I hope he will forgive me for putting a little spice into his life.
If you have interesting people in your life you can never be short of character material, but best not to show them too clearly, which I did with one of my great-aunts in ‘The Glory Girls’…but that’s another story.
This has to be unique. A reader has been inspired to write a long poem about the life of one of my heroines - Hildie, from When Tomorrow Comes. Hildie is my own personal favourite heroine, so I'm thrilled that she has inspired poetry. I wish now I had written the sequel I planned, but perhaps a bit too much time has passed.
Of all the books I have had published, The Raging Spirit is the only one set in a place I have never visited. In fact, not many people have set foot on the Archipelagus of St. Kilda off the north-west coast of Scotland, as wild a place as anyone would like to go. Indeed, not many people have even heard of it. 
Some years ago, my husband had special permission to spend some time on the main island of Hirta with a group of ornithologists, hosted by the Royal Air Force who were, at that time, occupying the essentially uninhabitable piece of our planet, in order to track missiles sent from the island of Benbeccula.
The islands are famous for their sea birds – hence my husband and his group with their cameras, who had been givn permission to camp  and take their own food, but the ornithologists were well looked after, especially with alcohol at the Naaffi, who were making the most of their short spells. While they were there a submarine arrived and the submariners came onto the island in shifts and had to be carried back to the sub because they were so drunk.
The only other people on Hirta were a group of volunteers from the National Trust who were renovating the old stone houses. The island had been uninhabited since 1930 when the 36 remaining inhabitants were forced to leave. It is now a nature reserve, the island having been bequeathed to the National Trust for Scotland in 1957 and was designated as Scotland's first World Heritage Site in 1987. It is now possible to visit the island. 
Brian’s photographs and the stories he told me of this wild adventure planted the seed of the most exciting novel I had written up to that point. Even now, I feel as though I had been there and the magic of the place will be for ever in my imagination. Writing it as a historic, romantic suspense was no trouble at all, since nothing much had changed since the original population had been evacuated. These hardy people spent their lives climbing the sheer rock faces of the islands, gathering sea birds – in particular the Fulmar, which was their main diet. They had one boat and supplies were brought no more than once or twice from the mainland, as long as the raging sea would allow the boats to approach.
‘THE RAGING SPIRIT’ BLURB: For a woman in 1890 the journey to the wild archipelago off the coast of Scotland, is hazardous. Undeterred, Meredick accompanies her naturalist father on his expedition to the islands, knowing she may have to endure a long stay. But then she meets the renowned Professor Fergus Macaulay and soon has cause to fear him more than the elements. As their boat flounders in savage seas, Meredick is jettisoned overboard. However, she is saved by a young man called Logan, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Professor Macaulay..and Logan’s dark and terrible past is slowly revealed – at great cost to them all.
Mr Terence Jennings
5.0 out of 5 stars
This is yet another wonderful book by June
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This is yet another wonderful book by June, this is my 3rd, so far, and the picture she paints, really makes you feel you are there with the characters, am so glad Meredith got her man in the end, took me just 3 days to read this, just wanted to keep going to see what happened.
5.0 out of 5 stars
When Meredith accompanies her naturalist father on an expedition to ...
When Meredith accompanies her naturalist father on an expedition to the remote island of St Kilda in 1890 she knows that life will be harsh with few amenities. She is also nervous of her father's employer, the forbidding Professor Macaulay. As the boat nears the island it founders and she is by Logan, a man with a dark past. June Gadsby's descriptions of the island and its dour inhabitants paint a vivid picture of a community cut off from civilization. Tensions build among the islanders and the expedition members and Meredith senses a mystery surrounding Logan. This was book I read almost in one sitting so anxious was I to find out what would happen to Meredith.
At the time when Brian was on St. Kilda only specially invited people were allowed on, but I believe that tourism has now reached these wild and isolated islands. I will never set foot on those rocky shores, but I can still feel the magic of them and the inspiration for The Raging Spirit that was passed to me by my husband.
Yes, it's been one forward and three back ever since before Christmas and for a once energetic and workaholic writer, this is not good. Trying to get my heart to beat normally [which it did until I caught a virus from my husband, who caught a virus from Ethiopia and generously passed it on to me] has been a mammoth task. I've lost count of the number of 'new' tablets I've been given, all of which gave me side -effects and turned me into a foggy-headed zombie. I've just started on yet another new tablet, after seeing the cardiologist on Tuesday, so my body - actually my brain - is slowly getting used to it. At least the hippety-hoppety heartbeats have stopped [for now] and my brain is finally waking up, but not enough yet to get back to my normal flow of writing. The other day - you may laugh - I sat down in my office and wrote 'Chapter Five' of the ongoing novel, but got no further as we had unexpected visitors. By the time we had helped them with their problem all I wanted to do was sink down in front of the fire and watch the telly, to which I have become terribly addicted during a long period of unwellness, anxiety and depression, due largely to the wrong tablets I was taking. Not to mention a cluster of deaths among our friends, relatives and my darling little Candy who lived with us for 17 years before she went to doggy heaven. Ah, well, I will get back to normal soon - I say, banging my fist on my work table. We shall see.
Here is some information for you over the past week on my website http://www.june-gadsby.fr . - 16. November, 2018 November 23, 2018.
Last month the figure sat at 128 and before that hovered around 80+/-
- Last week, my pages and albums were shown 1213 times in total
- My pages and photo albums have been seen29374 times in total since the creation of the website.
I'm doing something right. If I could figure out what it is I could boost those figures up a lot higher. We shall see, dear readers and followers. Your support is much appreciated.