I was born and grew up on the Wirral peninsula in Cheshire, England, before moving to London to study Business with French and Spanish. In my late thirties I moved to the United States with my two young sons. Now retired, I live in rural Connecticut where I love to cook for family and friends, garden in my vegetable patch, and walk in the surrounding countryside with my dog, Winnie. An avid reader, I started writing short stories five years ago. My fascination for World War II history, particularly the role of women in the Resistance, led me to write The Glovemaker’s War.
Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?
I didn’t really find it that difficult to come up with. My protagonist Eve was a glovemaker sent to France working for the SOE during World War II. It seemed a good choice for the title.
How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?
I cried when my first copy arrived. It was one of those ‘tingly all over’ moments that quite honestly lasted for a few days! In fact, I still get goosebumps when I think about it. The image of the woman on the cover was exactly how I envisaged Eve. It couldn’t have been more perfect. I was thrilled!
Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?
I’ve always read a lot, but until my retirement it never occurred to me to write. I wanted to write a story about my grandfather (which is still in the works) but found I had no idea how to start. I took some online writing courses which helped enormously and I went from there. I wouldn’t say that I have a particular person who has influenced me, but I do love books by Barbara Erskine. She writes historical novels with a supernatural twist.
What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?
I went to college for business studies combined with French and Spanish. After working for a couple of years translating for a company that provided analytical services to the mining industry in South America, I left to travel the world and became an air stewardess for British Airways (then BOAC). I flew around the world several times and visited many countries at a time when air travel was fun. I was also lucky enough to work on Concorde. I have so many stories from those days, I wouldn’t even know where to begin writing!
What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?
I never expected in a million years to have a book published, nor was I even sure I was a writer. I just jumped in, hoping that what I wrote was good enough to be published. I’m still in shock. It has been a very humbling experience to be guided through the process with the overwhelming enthusiasm, encouragement, and support of Atmosphere Press.
If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?
Definitely I’ll Never Love Again by Lady Gaga. I can see my character Eve singing those words. I started writing The Glovemaker’s War in 2018 when A Star Is Born was released and I imagined my character Luc looking like Bradley Cooper’s character Jack. In fact, when I was talking to a book group recently, someone completely out of the blue told me that she imagined Luc looked like Bradley Cooper’s character in A Star Is Born. I guess my description of Luc worked!
What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?
Anyone interested in strong women will enjoy my book. Women’s work in World War II went for the most part unnoticed until quite recently. Women were expected to return to their lives as housewives after their duty to their country ended. Only in recent years with an influx of World War II stories have we learned of the bravery, skills, and talents of these amazing women.
What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?
I have just finished the first draft of my new novel called Lost Family. It is another dual-timeline story set in World War II and present day. I started it after I finished the editing process for The Glovemaker’s War. So far it’s taken me a year to write. Now comes the tough part—editing! Watch this space!
How was working with Atmosphere Press? What would you tell other writers who want to publish?
I cannot speak more highly about working with Atmosphere Press. Not only are they a team of highly skilled professionals, but they’re also super friendly and easy to work with. If you have concerns about which publishing company to go with, don’t overthink it. Atmosphere Press is the company to pick.