Freda Lightfoot tells us a bit about herself upon the release of her new book Peace In My Heart. 

Peace In My Heart

Peace In My Heart

Where was I born?

In Lancashire, brought up behind my parent’s shoe shop. As an only child more often than not I was lost in my imagination, and scribbled what you might call fan-fiction in little red notebooks. Writing was considered an exotic ambition so I qualified and worked as a teacher before getting married and moving to the Lake District.

When did I begin to write?

I started writing articles and short stories on my old portable typewriter for children when mine were young. My first was called An Elizabethan Toothache, published by Today’s Guide in 1972, and I wrote many more.

Running a book shop.

I opened a book shop thinking I could mind my children, augment our income and in between customers write a novel. Such was my dream. I loved having access to books, but supplying libraries and schools, I had less time to read let alone write. In the wee small hours, I would still scribble away, although rarely did I send anything out.

How did I first get published?

Once I sold the shop, we bought a half derelict house high on the fells in the Lake District, together with one hectare of land, and enjoyed the ‘Good Life’, my husband working as a lawyer and me keeping hens and sheep. I wrote over forty short stories and articles for women’s magazines.

What did I write next?

Weary of the cold weather in the Lakes we moved to Cornwall and I tried writing for Mills & Boon. It took three rejects before they accepted Madeiran Legacy. What a thrill that was! I wrote them five books then remembering trekking up the fellside on a freezing night to check if our sheep were about to lamb, or to feed a pet lamb, I wrote the Luckpenny Land series. I sold it to Hodder & Stoughton and have written more sagas set in the Lakes, Manchester or Cornwall, and also historical romances. A total so far of 48 books.

Where do I get my inspiration?

From life and memory of my family. Polly’s Pride was inspired by the story of my great aunt Hannah who also sold all her furniture in order to finance a second hand carpet business. A part of Peace in My heart was inspired by memory of my grandparents running a boarding house in Blackpool throughout the war and years following. I created a story about the problems suffered by children who’d been evacuated.

What are my hobbies?

Reading and the theatre, having been involved in amateur dramatics in my youth. Walking, travel and cruises, now we’ve reached that certain age. Good holidays are rewards for my hard work, as I have no intention of ever retiring.

Where do we live now?

In Southern Spain during the winter, having an arthritis problem it has helped to resolve, and back in the North West during the summer, both places we love.

What are my favourite books?

I love historical fiction. As a young girl I read everything published by Anya Seton, Jean Plaidy and Norah Loft. Now I enjoy Judith Lennox, Lucinda Riley, Leah Fleming, Amanda Prowse, Janet Macleod Trotter and many more authors we discuss on my Readers group on Facebook.

What are my plans for the future?

To keep on writing.

Freda Lightfoot