Tricia, aged 65, said: “The Coal Miner’s Son is my second book and book two in the House of Grace trilogy. The idea was formed when I wrote a screenplay in 2013 for my BA creative writing dissertation. It was only after I finished my degree I realised there was a lot more story to tell and suddenly I felt like I could write a novel.
“If anyone had told me that ten years ago I’d have laughed, yet here I am now, two novels written and the third halfway through. My original inspiration for the House of Grace series was derived from George Orwell’s, Road to Wigan Pier which I studied as part of my GCSE English at Crawley College in 2013. Unfortunately I left school at fifteen as I was part of a large family and my father had become disabled. This meant I needed to go out to work to help support the family. I was in my last year of my Open University degree when the opportunity arose to study both GCSE maths and English at Crawley College. One of the English assessments was to write about a day as a miner’s wife or a miner. I chose a miner’s wife and once it was completed I never thought anything else about it. That was until I was on the last leg of my BA degree and had planned to write a life story for my dissertation but when it came to it I found I wasn’t detached enough to do it.
“I got myself in a right state thinking I’d fail my degree at the last hurdle. So I started looking at photo prompts on the internet and suddenly remembered my character, the coal miner’s wife. So I had a character but needed something else, because she couldn’t just be a coal miner’s wife. There had to be more.
“So I made her the daughter of titled parents with aspirations to become a successful fashion designer. Inspiration was also derived from television dramas, House of Elliott, for those old enough to remember that one, and Mr Selfridge. I’ve always had a love of family sagas so writing about them was kind of second nature, although my poetry goes in a different direction where I tend to write about the natural world. House of Grace, Book 1, was finished and I felt bereaved. I didn’t want to say goodbye to my characters and from what my readers said, neither did they. There was nothing else for it but to write another book which would become book two in a trilogy. All books may be read as standalones. The Coal Miner’s Son began as an exam assignment for my prose module, part of my MA with University of Brighton. At this stage I was using a child narrator and it was titled Heir of Granville but this caused my tutor to think the novel was more historic than it was, so after a lot of brainstorming, The Coal Miner’s Son was born.
“The novel is a family saga and appeals to readers who love period dramas, family sagas etc.
“It attracts mainly women born in the 50s or 60s because they are able to reminisce the retro. However the younger generation also enjoy it as they like to learn how things were back then.”
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