Talking About My Generation

A great website – Female First – asked me to talk about my new book The Girls from Greenway. The book covers the early Sixties – when people were enjoying the security of the National Health Service and other social welfare reforms put in place after WWII. Everything seemed possible.  But people were also dreaming of an even brighter future – going to Australia as a ten-pound pom, or winning the pools – filling in their coupons every week and watching Grandstand to see if their life was going to change for ever.

Angie and Doreen are sisters, living on the Greenway Estate in Essex. They have hopes and dreams but unfortunately fall in love with the same man  in the meantime they listen to some cool music. like Dave Brubeck playing Take 5.

And I’ve been talking about my generation to Sadie Nine on BBC Essex. We talked about The Girls from Greenway but also a bit about my later life! You can listen to it here. I come on about 2 hours 20 minutes in. It was a great morning.

A couple of years ago when Sadie Nine did the Breakfast Show I used to go and do newspaper reviews – stumbling in to the studio at 6.15 in the morning. Sometimes the papers didn’t come in till the very last minute – but hey! If you come from Essex, nothing phases you!

 

 

The Girls from Greenway

Today is paperback publication day for my new novel The Girls from Greenway! Cover high res

Life in the Sixties – Motown, jazz, frothy coffee, ten pound poms, the pools, love and betrayal. The book is set in Essex. Two sisters, Angie and Doreen have a difficult home life on their council estate in Chelmsford. And then things get worse – unknowingly they fall in love with the same man.

But they still have the music. Here’s an example of how cool it all was:

It’s been a great day, cards, flowers and champagne. Sometimes, it’s not bad being a writer.

The Girls from Greenway

Great news! The Girls from Greenway is out as an ebook from Thursday 22 August.  Chelmsford in the Sixties, mods, rockers, scooters, fashion, frothy coffee and music.

Two sister, Doreen and Angie, live on the Greenway council estate. It’s not an easy life, but things get even more difficult when they both fall in love with the same man.

But how can anything go wrong when there’s Dave Brubeck around? Let’s all Take 5.

Get a taster of the book here

The Girls from Greenway

The Girls from Greenway, the next book about mods in Chelmsford has just gone to the typesetters and it will be out on 19 September 2019! The book features all those iconic aspects of Sixties life – scooters,

the Orpheus, Wainwright’s Milk Bar, the Golden Fleece, the Bus Station,

 

plus a few more – Carnival Queens,

The Saracen’s Head,  the County Hotel, and Bonds Department Store.

All accompanied by the great sounds of Motown, Stax and Mark Shelley and the Deans.

There’s also a slight peppering of fashion and a few magazines, like Honey and Vogue.  And a new men’s boutique in town. Everything to look forward to! And here’s a synopsis

1960s Chelmsford

Angie Smith lives on the Greenway estate in Chelmsford, with her elder sister Doreen, their struggling mother and their drunk, violent father. Bored of her job, and of her dull, ordinary boyfriend Roger, Angie dreams of bigger and better things.

But then she meets boutique-owner Gene Battini, older, handsome, charming – and married. She is completely swept off her feet. Little does she know that Doreen too is falling for Gene, and that their affair will have disastrous consequences.

As things at home go from bad to worse, Angie and Doreen must struggle to fight for what they want.

Can the girls from Greenway ever achieve their dreams?

o o O o o

And in other news, The Saturday Girls is out on 1 May in large print!

What to do

It’s been a long time since my last post. I’ve been working on the next book – The Girls from Greenway. It’s out in September! It’s another novel about the Sixties – life in Swinging Chelmsford, mods, Motown, frothy coffee and Ben Sherman shirts. The editing process has been long, but it’s almost over. And now I have two weeks before the next stage begins.

So I decided to go mad and have a weekend in Paris. But then news began circulating about industrial action by French customs workers, talk of 5 hour queues at the Gare du Nord for trains back to London, and I began to wonder if I should risk it. So I found myself walking along the road humming What to Do by Buddy Holly. And I found I remembered all the words.

I loved Buddy Holly’s songs when I was at school, and would walk home in the afternoons, singing whatever song suited my mood. ‘That’ll Be the Day,’ ‘Oh Boy,’ ‘Raining in my Heart’ and ‘Rave On’ were all on my singing playlist. If there was homework that just wasn’t going to get done, if there was a good group due to appear at the Corn Exchange next Saturday, if the weather wasn’t too hot, I would swing my bag, hold on to my beret and sing out loud. I probably looked quite stupid in my navy-blue school uniform and my sensible lace-up shoes, but I was happy.

In the end I didn’t go to Paris – the advice from Eurostar was not to go unless my journey was absolutely necessary, and by the time I took the decision, there was talk of 6 and 7 hour queues. Well, ‘Maybe Baby’ I’ll go soon.