I’m really delighted to welcome my Fabrian friend, Pat Posner, to the blog today. Pat had her first publication when she was eight – a silly rhyme in her school magazine. A few years later she started writing children’s books – from board books up to short novels for girls and boys aged 8 – 10. As well as her own titles, her published books include licensed character titles and are a mixture of story/activity books, Annuals, a Sylvanian Families video and series books under an ‘umbrella name’ (She wrote 8 Animal Ark books as Lucy Daniels). Nowadays she writes short fiction for women’s magazines and Pocket Novels – “family and friends” stories set in the 1950s and also contemporary romance. Her six Pocket Novels are also published in large print books by Ulverscroft, and there is a new one coming shortly. Pat recently released Daffodil Days: Stories from the Broome Park Prefab Village, and a Christmas book, Christmas Wishes … New Year Kisses. She lives in a farmhouse on a sheep farm with her husband, Peter. They’re owned by Tim and Ted, their 2 Rough Collies, visiting wildlife and the sheep who graze in the moorland meadows outside Pat’s study window. The farmhouse and the animals often appear in her stories.
What inspires your story ideas or characters?
Most of the time, I don’t really know. But for my Pebbledown Bay series of children’s books, a good few years ago now, it was a hole in our roof and rain leaking in. I wondered how a slightly crazy, eccentric family would deal with it.
Moving on to writing for grown-ups: I love series of books set in a village with characters I enjoy meeting again and I love nostalgia so I decided to write something set in the 1950s. I probably borrowed bits and pieces from people I knew as a child for the characters in “Daffodil Days – Stories from Broome Park Prefab Village” though I’ve no idea why I chose a prefab village for them to live in.
How do you go about starting a new writing project?
I write character sheets and draw a sort of pictorial map showing where each character lives (including any pets) and the places in the village. This often leads to story ideas or a job for a particular character – a pub needs staff, which character could get a part-time job there? Put a church in the village and you need a vicar so you’ve suddenly got a new character to think about.
I didn’t need a map for “Christmas Wishes…New Year Kisses” because it’s set where I live and although the characters are modern day, most of the time, they are traditional in the way they think and act.
You’ve written lots of things for children, but what was your own favourite book as a child, and how do you view it now as an adult?
Anything by Enid Blyton; my love of series stemmed from her books. I still think The Magic Faraway Tree (the original series) is a great read.
What has surprised you most about being a published writer?
The generosity of other published writers and the fact is it’s harder work promoting a book than it was writing it.
Who would you say has been most influential in your writing career?
When I was tiny my dad used to tell me his made-up stories at bedtime. They were about Willie Worm and Willie’s friends. See, it was a series again. My husband has always encouraged me; without his encouragement I’d probably have given up.
What are your writing goals long term and/or short term?
To write longer books set in Broome Park Prefab Village, to get on with my cosy mystery – set in a village in the early 1960s and I’ve always wanted to write a saga set on the home Front in WW2 – I’ve got one unfinished one waiting for the right time for me to go back to it.
Which genre would you like to write in but don’t think you could?
I’m happy writing nostalgic and feel-good books so I don’t really think about other genres.
What’s your favourite book?
It changes depending on how I feel.
Who are your favourite fictional characters? (Your own or someone else’s).
I love my prefab village characters and when it comes to someone else’s characters, as above, it’s down to how I feel.
Which television show from your childhood would you like to bring back?
Any of the dramas shown at 5pm on a Sunday and, I wasn’t still a child, but I loved The Bagthorpe Saga.
Your book is going to be filmed! Which song would you choose for the theme?
For Broome Park Prefab Village it would be Billy Cotton’s Friends and Neighbours.
What thing or things are guaranteed to cheer you up?
Taking our dogs, Tim and Ted, for a walk on a crisp Autumn day.
What are the best and worst things about being a writer?
Enjoying what I’m writing is the best and the worst is…wondering if readers will enjoy reading my books.
What one piece of advice would you give to other writers?
Don’t let rejections stop you from writing.
You’re stuck in a lift with three other people. Who would you like them to be?
Fabrian Books writers.
Where do you write?
In my study, in bed at night on the notepad I keep by the bed.
Thank you, Pat. It’s been lovely to have you on the blog.
You can buy Daffodil Days here
and Christmas Wishes … New Year Kisses here.