Lindsey Hutchinson has set her historical novel in her home town.
Born and raised in Wednesbury in the heart of the ‘Black Country’ in middle England, I worked most of my life as a secretary. My skills came in useful when my mother, Meg Hutchinson, retired from a life of teaching and became a very successful author. I spent many happy hours typing her manuscripts in readiness for the publisher. Without realising, I learned many lessons regarding the writing of novels.
Although I had written stories for my children as they grew, I never considered writing seriously until the passing of my mother. It was a while later when I decided I would ‘try my hand’. It’s thanks to the support of my family and friends as well as my agent, Judith Murdoch, and the Aria team that I am now a published author under my maiden name of Lindsey Hutchinson.
My stories come from fictional ideas which are peppered with true life facts. I find the internet invaluable for checking dates and details; the promotion of e-books too is a godsend to those such as myself. However, I still love the feel of a printed book in my hands.
Setting a time schedule is impossible for me as I have to put my ideas on paper as soon as they come to me. I write everything down in longhand/shorthand with a fountain pen then when the book is complete, I type it up before giving it a thorough read through and edit.
I was once given a piece of advice, ‘Write about what you know’. The ‘Black Country’ and its people are what I know and that’s why I chose to write about my home town. The women of Wednesbury and its surrounding towns are strong characters who tell it as it is regardless of hurting feelings. The poverty in the Victorian/Edwardian eras is well known but their resolve to endure is remarkable, coming together in the face of adversity.
Grabbing the reader at the outset with a ‘hook’ to hold their interest is, for me, an exciting way to begin my novels. When ideas come thick and fast I can write all day, then other times I’m dry. Sitting in the garden quietly with my dog usually helps to stimulate my thought processes once more.
A heart-wrenching saga of two girls, forced to survive without a mother’s love.
Orpha Buchanan and Peg Meriweather had a very different start in life. Orpha surrounded by wealth and riches, Peg dumped on a doorstep as a baby with nothing to her name but a scruffy blanket and tatty clothes. But one thing they had in common from their very first day, was a mother who despised them and wished them gone.
Hortense Buchanan wasn’t made to be a mother. Bullied herself when she was a child, she continues the tradition with her own children, loving money and finery more than her own flesh and blood. When her daughter Orpha runs away from home, Hortense celebrates, never once worrying for her safety.
Circumstances bring Orpha and Peg together, and before long they’re as close as family, making their way in the hustle and bustle of a booming Birmingham and the smoke-filled Black Country. But before long, Hortense realises that her daughter stands in the way of the one thing she really cares about, and the bitter legacy of the Buchanans looks set to destroy them all…
Lindsey lives in Shropshire with her husband. She has a son and a daughter and three beautiful grandchildren. She is the daughter of million-copy bestselling author Meg Hutchinson.