My name is Mary Wood and I am delighted and honoured to be asked by Freda to guest post on her page and it is lovely to meet you all.
As an author of Historical Sagas, it is always nice to engage with readers who enjoy the genre and also to meet other authors writing in that field.
For those who are wondering who I am, I am a go-it-alone author of four best-selling kindle novels – ‘The Breckton Trilogy’, with the fourth book being a spin-off novel of the trilogy.
So, me in a Nut Shell? I was born into a family of fifteen children, we were very poor, but rich in love. I had a typical post-war education metered out to those in my class – the four ‘R’s’ – as they were known back then: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and Religion – with Domestic science, for the girls (which I soon sussed out as: how to do the chores of a woman’s lot!) and, woodwork for the boys. We were nurtured into our role in life as it definitely wasn’t my nature!
I have a passion for Social History and in particular the plight of women of yesteryear. It matters so much to me what women of the past went through before we were liberated, maybe because I have a foot in each era and can remember when it definitely was ‘a man’s world’! My novels reflect this time – a time when the class system prevailed and the rich rode roughshod over the poor. And a time when it was considered, there was no such thing as rape, and domestic violence was a man’s right to keep his missus in check. But it isn’t just the lives of lower-class that interest me. Many wealthy women suffered too, having to marry for the sake of money and position – practically sold by their fathers in order to secure funds for the family coffers. Not allowed to make decisions or to complain if their husband took a mistress. Therefore, I try to show life from both angles.
You may be wondering what, go-it-alone means, and why I do it? I was born to write, but couldn’t break into the publishing world as rejection after rejection came for my work. I never gave up, but my dream of attracting a publisher never materialised, I either didn’t fit into their list, or my genre was dead in the water, or etc…etc... Then along came kindle!! At last, every writer had a platform for their work. No one to gate-keep and close the door to me - it was up to me. I had done all I could – learned my craft – written my book, now it was time to publish and be damned!
It has been a journey, an exciting one, a rewarding one, but a sometimes gruelling one as I found it wasn’t just about being a writer. I have to work with an editor as she slashes what I think are my best bits! Format my work for publication. Source a cover, publicise myself – this latter I find very difficult and time consuming, but a necessary evil.
At last I have achieved my dream. After a career that was at first changeable as I worked in various jobs to fit in with bringing up my family, I ended my 9 – 5 days, working for the Probation Service. Now I am a full-time writer living in Spain with my husband of 50 years, Roy Wood. How about that? First time lucky and received my gold medal this year. We have four wonderful children who have given us grandchildren and great grandchildren, life is full of love and I am a very lucky lady. Though hasten to add Roy isn’t Roy Wood of the Wizards – mind you, after a couple at Christmas, he has been known to belt out a rendition of ‘I Wished it could be Christmas Every Day!
I am now working on a fifth book, the first of a few in a saga called: ‘The Cotton Mill Saga’. This is the best part of my job, living the lives of my characters, feeling the excitement as their story unfolds, crying when they fall, laughing when they are funny and missing them when they are gone and worrying about them when they are published. That may sound dotty, but that is the process for me. My husband will say, if he catches me crying, ‘Darling, you are being silly, why not just delete that
bit and rewrite so she doesn’t die,’ or whatever it is I am sobbing about – but I can’t. Once I have written a scene, I know it is right, and it isn’t my place to manipulate things to make them go as I want them to.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my post, please feel free to ask questions or make any comments you like. I look forward to hearing from you. Much love to you all, Mary Wood.