I love history. My love of history (especially the Victorian era) has taken me to many historic houses and places of interest. My most recent visits in August this year were to Hughenden Manor in Buckinghamshire, former home of Benjamin Disraeli and to Queen Victoria’s favourite retreat, Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. Great for research.
I love books. My all time favourite romance is Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Although a close second would be My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young which is set during the First World War. I have a shelf full of books on writing and another shelf full of books set in the Victorian era. Most of my characters are inspired by the people Henry Mayhew writes about in his books London Labour and the London Poor. He’s a fantastic writer and a contemporary of Charles Dickens.
I love London. There’s nothing better on a sunny day than walking along by the Thames or sitting in one of the riverside restaurants watching the world go by. It’s my favourite thing to do.
I love being outdoors. I have two daughters and I am the proud grandmother of their three children. When my children were younger I was a Guide Guider and was able to take them camping with the guides. As well as going to local camp sites we also camped in Windsor Great Park, took a boat on the river and visited Runnymede to see the John Kennedy Memorial. My eldest daughter takes her children camping every year.
My most memorable outing with the Girl Guides (apart from the one when I took them skating at Richmond Ice Rink, fell and broke my leg, got rushed to hospital and spent six weeks in plaster) was taking guides to Trafalgar Square one Christmas for the Carol Singing. On the train there the girls were talking about their various holidays to America, Singapore, Egypt and Rumania. ‘What on earth can I do to impress these girls?’ I thought, but their shrieks of joy when we turned the corner into Trafalgar Square, with the Christmas Tree all lit up and the square full of people singing, was unforgettable even though they caused one passerby to give us an astonished glare.
I have a BA (Hons) in Administrative Management. It took six years of open study but I gained a 2:1 and was overjoyed. I learned a lot too.
I worked at Harrow Crown Court and did Jury Service at The Old Bailey in Number One Court, a location I have used in two of my books.
I took up writing after being made redundant. I started writing short stories, sent one to People’s Friend and it was published. The second one I sent to Woman’s Weekly was also published. I have now had over fifty short stories published in women’s magazines.
I love a challenge. My main reason for writing my first Victorian novel, was to see if I could do it. I self-published for the same reason. My latest challenge was to see if I could turn one of my books into an audio book. I did. The Water Gypsy is now available in audio.
My littlest grandson inspired me to write my latest novel. He’s six years old, autistic and non-verbal. He goes to a very good school for children with Special Educational Needs who are helping him with his communication skills. If he’d been born a hundred years ago his life would have been very different. That was my inspiration for The Guardian Angel. I write Victorian novels, so it was a short step to write about a boy born mute and a girl from the workhouse who cared for him.
The Guardian Angel by Kay Seeley is published on the 14th November.