I had my children when I was termed an elderly mother, and because I was deemed so ancient I was signed off work seven months before my baby was due. Whoohoo!! This did mean I could start writing properly and not just snatch hours in the evening, trying to conjure something from my drained brain… you’ve heard of the brain-drain, well teaching is definitely the drain-brain!
When my son and then later my daughter was born, I did not return to work, I could not be a working mother; I couldn’t have waited so long, and worried so much to have two wonderful children and then put them in child-care… I just couldn’t… this also meant time at home when I could continue writing!
I was writing ‘A Strong Hand From Above’, the first of what I considered my proper books. I had already written by ‘Man in the Sun’ and ‘Telling All The truth’… oh and ‘Silver Screen’ (that one really is best forgotten!) but ‘A Strong Hand…’ was my first proper not-to-bad novel.
While I wrote I played ‘Aztec Camera’, over and over again; fabulous melodies, wonderful lyrics, and oh his voice!
I had ‘Love’ and ‘Stray’ on a cassette, I now have them on CD but I never listen to them without being taken back to our little house in Lees, Oldham, where in my memory the sun streams in the windows and I write, write, write, for the first time in my life I was free to write, write, write!