I began writing Figs, Vines and Roses, over two years ago. The book started life as a short story, which was sent to a London publisher. They liked it and asked me to send the full manuscript.
After establishing that it was not a book but a short story, I ended up in saying that it could possibly be made into a full length tale. I hasten to add that I really did not know what I was letting myself in for.
Eighteen months later the manuscript was complete, or so I thought. I had it proof read and realised after reading the report on suggested changes that I still had a mountain to climb. I spent most of the summer of 2013 making these changes, which have now resulted in the finished book being published.
It tells the story of love, loss and sadness at the turn of the nineteenth century. The huge divide between rich and poor is well documented, describing the wealthy family from which our heroine comes and the poverty that the man she falls in love with endures.
The short story previously eluded to was for a competition run by The Lady magazine. My story was not successful in the competition, but because the remit was to write a love story entwined with a National Trust property, and I had spent many hours researching Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, my chosen property, I continued to pursue a publisher. A friend came with me and we took photographs and walked the grounds until we felt there was enough material for me to work on, hence the published book.