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I am a writer - late developer since I wasn't published until I was 50. I have now written 23 novels, numerous short stories and articles.


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Saturday 5 January 2013

Breeders is one of my favourite books.  Dogs are a big part in the story and my passion are my dogs.  I decided that instead of three main characters I would write  three couples falling in love - a young pair with the joy of first love; a couple who are both emerging from the debris of failed marriages.  And an elderly couple who find each other. Three couple whose love is different but yet the same

One of the nicest things about being a writer is that if someone has been unkind or rude to you, or who simply annoys you then the fury, anger or mild irritation with them can be helped  by a simple dose of revenge - you can put them in a book.  Of course, if not careful, you can be sued so it’s best to take the precaution of renaming them and making it so there mother’s don’t recognise them.  Doesn’t this negate the revenge?  No, it doesn’t since THEY know who you are writing about.

However, these are minor peccadilloes compared to something important which upsets you and which you cannot get out of your mind.  One day, reading a Sunday Times colour supplement I was swamped with horror as I read about the puppy farms.   I had not known such places existed, and perhaps there were others who didn’t know either.  I had to do something, but what?  Write a book about it, dummy!

As I researched the subject - not a happy task - I then learnt about dog fighting, another thing to raise my anger again.  I learnt about the showing of dogs, the rivalries, the ambition, the nastiness.  But it was not all gloom, I met people  who lived for their dogs and devoted their lives to them, another type of breeder.  I met those who rescued them too.  There was a whole new world out there where dogs reigned supreme.

And so I began to write Breeders.  Happy that I might, with luck, help those dogs who needed us and show my appreciation to all those who dedicate their lives to them.  Thankfully, for me, a dodgy hip prevented me from doing the very necessary research, and it was my daughter Rebecca who went to the RSPCA  headquarters, the Kennel Club, good breeders of all manner of dogs  and asked the long list of questions that I needed the answers to.

I wrote the novel quite quickly for it is a long one.  But then my  publishers, decided not to publish it.  One junior editor saying it was like my Sarson Magna stories but with dogs.  I was so angry, this novel which meant so much to me being rejected so dismissively.  But, then I made a discovery, the people who turned it down were all admirers of cats!  Fortunately it was picked  up quickly was almost made into a film - which is nearly always what happens with film and TV options - almost!  It is one of my top three for receiving nice letters from readers saying how much they enjoyed it.  And guess what?  Loads of them are from people who start their letters with “I am normally a cat person but . . .”

I love dogs I cannot remember a time when I didn’t have these amazing creatures about me.  Now I have Daisy, a dear, sweet Shih Tzu, she was rescued from her incarceration on a puppy farm by a charity called Many Tears. 

This novel however is not all sadness and woe, I hope I have conveyed the joy and love that dogs bring, for the novel is about love - that of men and women for each other; the love of  men and women for their dogs, and, of course, that wonderful bond of love and devotion that we who are fortunate enough to live with dogs know each day we are together.

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