Saturday, 18 August 2012


Apart from  adventure story which I wrote when I was about eleven and an avid reader of Girls Crystal, Lonely is the Valley is the first book I ever wrote. I have been formatting it ready to add to my collection of other digital books on Amazon and Smashwords.
Available from Amazon UK

 It has made me reflect on my early efforts as a writer. The first chapter and synopsis, then written under the pseudonym Lynn Granger, was written for a competition run by Women’s Weekly and judged in conjunction with Woman’s Hour and another magazine for women – I forget which. Mine did not win. I think both editors and publishers must have had more patience in those days because Lynda O’Byrne, fiction editor of Women’s Weekly, took time to write to me and say she had liked my entry and she suggested I finish the novel and send it to Robert Hale for their Rainbow Romance Series. Not many busy editors would do that now so I shall always be grateful to her for helping me to get a foot on the writing ladder. I cringe when I remember how ignorant I was about the writing world. I didn’t know any other writers and had never heard of the RNA or even the Writers’ and Artists’ Year Book.
I was a busy wife and mother. Moving house is upheaval enough but we had moved from one farm to another with loads of alterations to be done, over years, not months. There were no computers then and I was not a trained typist. I wrote by hand then slogged away in secret on my little portable typewriter, complete with correction tape. I sent it to Hale. They sent it back. It was too long for their Rainbow Romance Series. I thought that was a polite rejection and stuffed it away. Six months later I had a letter asking if I had completed the alterations yet and would I send off the manuscript as soon as possible. I don’t think publishers would take time or trouble for that these days, except perhaps for someone famous.
Hopefully I have learned and improved my writing since then. See - a blog which five of us share.


  1. I seem to have missed seeing this until now! What a lovely post, Gwen - your talent obviously shone from the beginning. And how lovely to have such personal feedback too - glad Hale contacted you again!

  2. Thank you Rosemary but I think it was luck more than talent. It is amazing what a difference a helping hand can make in all walks of life. I can't imagine not writing now but I do remember considering taking up doll's houses for a hobby - with the period furnishings and history.