My passion has always been social history, and for my first novel, Sovereign For A Song, I coupled this with remembered tales of the community life my grandparents shared in the coalfields of Durham. The book won a national award and has since been reissued as Sing Me Home.
It became the start of a series of family sagas based on the fictional Wilde family in the years running up to and including World War 1: Winning A Wife, No Price Too High, and For King and Country.
For the last in the series, the research undertaken into medical nursing resonated strongly with my own training in the profession, and so my adopted city of Hull became the backdrop for Angel of the North.
It is the first in a series based in the city during World War 2, when Hull became infamous in radio broadcasts as ‘a north-east coastal town’, suffering destruction or damage to 96% of its housing stock during the 1941 Blitz and up to the end of the war.
Book 2, The Land Girls, came out in 2014 and follows 17 year old Muriel as she leaves behind the war-ravaged city of her birth and signs on to the Land Girls to head into the fresh air of the countryside. Soon, though, she finds that working in the countryside has its own drawbacks, including animosity from the locals. But she finds solace in the company of a young man equally lost. The trouble is, his name is Ernst, and he's a German prisoner of war.