Margaret’s latest pocket novel is in the shops now. We had a chat about writing pocket novels and how things have changed in the women’s market.
Tell us about your latest pocket novel “The Dolphin Summer”.
“The Dolphin Summer” will be my 39th pocket novel and is about Sarita Turin who lives on the other side of the world in Butterfly Creek. Her English grandmother’s dolphin bracelet comes into her possession and she sets to find out more about her, but her quest leads to startling revelations.
What do you enjoy most about writing pocket novels?
I love being able to write on almost any subject I choose. As long as the story is kept to the word limit my imagination can go wherever it likes. On a cold wet and windy afternoon I love pretending I am somewhere warm and sunny. I can lose myself in a story for hours. I love creating characters and seeing where the story takes them.
Do you enjoy writing stories set abroad?
For many years I worked for an airline so I have always had the travel bug. If space was available staff could fly anywhere in the world often at short notice. This gave me a love of writing stories set in foreign places. Also my husband’s uncle used to live in Menorca and we often visited him. I would absorb the local scenery and wild life and make notes to use in my stories.
What was the first ever story you had published?
It was a short story entitled “Rocket Science It Ain’t” and it was published in 2004 by Woman’s Weekly.
How has the women’s fiction market changed over the years?
I think the change in women’s fiction over the years has been immense. The average woman’s life has changed beyond recognition and this is reflected in the market. The world is now much more hi-tech and women are playing a leading part in all areas of media, commerce and industry and the fiction market has had to move to keep abreast of developments. Today’s woman leads a very different life to that of her mother and grandmother.
What advice would you give to other writers?
If you want to be published never give up. I did not have my first acceptance until I had been writing on and off for about ten years, so you could say I was a late developer. Take an interest in all that is going on around you. You never know when inspiration will strike. You could say a trip to the local recycling centre on a dreary Sunday morning is the last place you would expect to find inspiration for a story, but I started thinking about what people were throwing out. I thought about a glitter ball and wrote a story that was entitled “Dance Hall Days” which “The People’s Friend” published.
Thank you, Margaret!