“This may sound naughty, but as a child I loved being ill so long as I wasn’t too ill because it meant I could stay in bed and read. And have “pop”, as a special treat, but that’s another story
“When I was a bit older, I spent my pocket money on ‘pony’ books, and that’s when I really started writing stories, usually involving a girl rescuing a downtrodden pony and going on to win prizes at gymkhanas.
“Then real life took over, and it was a long time before I was lucky enough to settle down to writing again. It took even longer before I had a story accepted for publication by none other than ‘The People’s Friend’. With feedback and advice from the editors there, I gradually had more stories accepted, and it’s still my favourite magazine to write for. I can put my feet up and relax with the pleasanter side of life.
“I mainly write in a corner of our family’s study. My desk is the wooden headboard from the second-hand bed we bought when we moved into our first house, thirty-one years ago. The rest of the bed has long gone it even had metal springs underneath! but my husband kept the wood back “because it might be useful one day”. And so it turned out.
“It’s probably the untidiest desk in the world, with the study itself an obstacle course of books, notebooks, magazines and a teetering ironing pile. Organised I am not. I’ve also written stories on the shores of Coniston Water, on Cornish beaches and in bed.
“Writing can be a solitary occupation, so I enjoy getting together with other writers. I know several ‘Friend’ writers on social media, and I’m also in two local writers’ groups.
“Inspiration comes from all directions. Family experiences play a large part, as do favourite places, when I can picture the stories happening. It’s probably no coincidence that many are set in Cornwall, the Lakes or Lancashire where I grew up.
“If I had to give one piece of advice to prospective writers, it would be to always carry a notebook and write down the little snippets that you’d otherwise forget later.
“Ambition-wise, I’d love to see my novels adorning bookshop windows one day, but I also enjoy the variety of writing short stories, so I’ll still hopefully be penning those for a long time to come.”
You can catch up with Rebecca’s latest story, “An Old Flame”, in our November 7 issue.