Tracey catches up with debut author, Pamela Gough to hear about her story, “Women Of Change” which appears in this week’s issue.
Tell us about your story, “Women Of Change” and the inspiration behind it.
I have always been interested in the role of women during the First World War and its aftermath. The term “surplus women” was used by the newspapers to refer to those women who, because of the huge loss of young men in the war, would never marry. I wanted to show that women could have other destinies than to be wives and mothers.
How long have you been writing fiction?
As a child, I wrote a “magazine” which I forced my siblings to buy for the princely sum of 1/2d! More recently, I started writing as therapy after the death of my husband over 10 years ago. I then took a couple of creative writing courses and started to concentrate on short stories.
What authors inspire you?
Agatha Christie for her plots, Jane Austen for her witty observations on human nature and Donna Leon for atmospheric detail.
What are your own reading habits like?
I have always been an avid reader and estimate that I read nearly 100 books a year. Thank goodness for libraries! My comfort reading is cosy crime – I’m enjoying Richard Osman’s series featuring his gang of pensioner detectives. My tastes are eclectic though, ranging from Booker Prize winners to biographies. Belonging to a book group introduces you to books and authors you might not otherwise have considered.
What made you decide to write for the “Friend”?
I enjoy writing down to earth stories that people can relate to and I think and hope that those are the kind of stories that “Friend” readers will enjoy.
What advice would you give someone trying to find writing success with the “Friend”?
First of all, read the magazine to gauge the style and voice of the stories published and, of course, follow the guidelines. Write about characters you love (or love to hate) – this will shine through in your writing.
Thank you, Pamela!