My aunty who was a secretary gave me a typewriter for my twenty-first birthday present. I was so thrilled because even then, my handwriting was pretty illegible. It was a really neat little thing with a case so it was portable but actually quite heavy. I used it so much and wrote my first couple of not very good novels.

One was about a woman whose cousin confessed to killing a man she was dating; the cousin never lied and there was the dead body so it seemed obvious that she must have done it… except the main character just can’t believe that her cousin would do such a thing… Another was about a brother and sister in their twenties who go on holiday together to the south of France, and come home to the farm where they live with their father and uncle, bringing with them their new-found loves… this was a novel all about family relationships as you might gather. I also wrote an excruciating story about a young woman who was in love with her step-father… it’s almost embarrassing to remember that one! I also wrote a number of short stories, four of which were published in a magazine called ‘Honey’…

So well done my type-writer! However… now we have word processors and I really wonder how I ever could have written novels – the editing alone was such hard work! I would type out my novel, I would edit it and type it out again, and then maybe again… If I wanted to rearrange any passages I might actually cut the pages up into bits and pin hem together with paper-clips and use different coloured inks to show where the different parts should be inserted. If I found a mistake on one page and retyped that then maybe the new retyped bit wouldn’t fit on the page, being too long which would mean typing the next page or pages, or too short which would leave a gap at the end of the retyped page…

How easy lives are now with modern technology. I’m editing my next novel, ‘Raddy and Syl’ and although I am working hard on it, it is so much easier. For example, I found that a character called Charles Henry had sometimes lost his capital H and became Charles henry – easy to correct, ‘find and replace’! I found I had used the word ‘lovely’ about a million times (OK I exaggerate) so I just hit ‘find’ and go through and check which ones need changing or deleting.

I was so pleased with my typewriter, it served me well… but I am so glad I now have a computer!



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