Here’s award-winning writer Pauline Holyoak to tell us about her writing life.
I grew in Southeast England, in a coal mining village lovingly nicknamed, “The place that time forgot.” Go to my website, click on ‘Articles’ and find out why. I immigrated to Canada when I was 21 in search of adventure and a new life. I currently live in Alberta with my sports crazy husband, adorable sheltie dog and cantankerous ginger cat. I am the proud mother of two grown children and one grandchild on the way. Yay!
As far back as I can remember the pen and paper have been my faithful companions and story telling my forte. As a child I would sneak away from the mundane adult world, find a private retreat (usually behind the garden shed) and imagine. There, in my own little sanctuary, I’d conjure up all kinds of intriguing tales and colorful characters. In my teen years my journal became my confidante, with me revealing all my hidden secrets, private fantasies and wild notions within its pages. Later, I started to write poems, articles and short stories, and pondered the thought of becoming a writer.
When I moved to Canada, I buried my dreams under layers of real life clutter. I chose a safe and practical career in childcare, got married and raised a family. But my creative spirit kept trying to dig its way out. I was asked to write articles and editorials for our local church. I taught a storytime class at the school, which lead me to writing a children’s book. I wrote an article about my husbands’ prestigious grandfather and sent it to our local newspaper. They printed it. I kept sending them articles, they kept printing them. I was surprised by the compliments I received from the editor and readers. It was evident to me then that I had excavated my creative spirit.
I decided to take a comprehensive writing course to improve my technique. With help from a proficient and supportive tutor, who told me I had a gift, I began to cultivate my skill. My articles started to sell and I received an assignment from a major Canadian magazine.
The first book in my Merryweather Lodge trilogy ‘Merryweather Lodge – Ancient Revenge’, was the Readers Favorite 2011 Silver Award Winner for paranormal fiction. I have also written two children’s books and had twenty-five articles and editorials published.
I often get asked. “What inspired you to write this trilogy?”…
Every summer, when I was a child, we would visit my aunt and uncle at their quaint little cottage on Salisbury Plain. It was called Scotland Lodge and was situated not far from the historical Stonehenge. My uncle worked as a farm hand for the local squire. My aunt tended the manor house. It was there as I roamed free, deep within the English countryside, that I experienced joy, enchantment and some very strange and frightening occurrences. It was like a fairytale kingdom with a sinister twist.
The memories of my summers at Scotland Lodge stayed with me, as a nagging unsolved mystery A few years ago I revisited my childhood wonderland (the old place still emanates a strange and eerie essence) and I was led by some mysterious force into concocting this story and writing this trilogy. It is from my mystifying experiences at Scotland Lodge that this story has emerged.
Download ‘Merryweather Lodge – Ancient Revenge’ here: http://amzn.to/MnzkG0
Download ‘Merryweather Lodge – Malevolent Spirit’ here: http://amzn.to/MnzltH
Visit Pauline at her website www.paulineholyoak.com