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May 26

A Day in The Life of Bestselling Author Margaret Graham

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A Day in the Life of bestselling author MARGARET GRAHAM 2

Even before breakfast I’m out with Rosie, the Cockerpoo. Why so early? Time and tide wait for no Rosie, is why.  She has those cocker spaniel eyes which means we live in a state of permanent emotional blackmail.

A Day in the Life of bestselling author MARGARET GRAHAM rosie1

While Tilly reads the paper.

A Day in the Life of bestselling author MARGARET GRAHAM tilly1a

We live at Downley, High Wycombe, having moved from Dorset 4 years ago. Another why? It was time: kids, grandkids, lots friends are around here, and London half an hour away. Bliss. So now we have the Chiltern beech woods ten minutes walk away, and London half an hour.

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After breakfast? Sometimes it’s Tai Chi class, sometimes teaching a group of writers, (I have a great group in Chesham, laugh a minute),  sometimes  it’s playing the bongo drums for our U3A  ukulele group, sometimes working on a feature I’ve asked for, or that’s come in, as I’m Contributing Editor for the wonderful Frost Magazine. I get to do reviews too, which is great, as I love any excuse to drift around seeing new, or old ‘masters’. My most favourite was the Bryan Adams photographic exhibition ‘Wounded’.

A Day in the Life of bestselling author MARGARET GRAHAM jacovangass

Attribution: Jaco Van Gass copyright Bryan Adams

This exhibition encouraged me to work harder for Words for the Wounded that I founded 4 years ago.  I run it with two other grannies, Jan Speedie and Penny Deacon, to raise funds for wounded troops.

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We raise money through our writing competitions (they open again in November) Literary Festivals, and events, with the grannies absorbing all expenses. In August we grannies are dragging our families off to a Mud Challenge – leaping over obstacles on a military assault course. Heaven help the lot of us.

I garden, can’t live without cottage garden plants, especially old roses, though the lawn path took a bashing. Had to change my mind on that.

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In the evenings I knit, (such a grannie)

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Or make hand sewn baby quilts for various friends.

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Or, quite frankly, it’s playtime, anytime, night or day.

My main thread though, is as a writer. I have written about 16 novels, many bestsellers, contemporary and historical. And loads of short stuff.

For my sagas I research carefully, and have travelled the world in search of the facts in situations such as settlement scheme in Australia for Canopy of Silence.

A Day in the Life of bestselling author MARGARET GRAHAM canopyofsilence8

I started the Easterleigh Hall series a couple of years ago. The first, takes place before the 1st world war, and is set in the north east of England. This is where my roots are and I write about it often. My mother lived in the pit village of Washington, County Durham and life was hard. Worse, her mother killed herself  towards the end of the 1st World War.

Poor Percy, her father,  came home to a motherless family. My mother was 2. Percy, gassed himself when mum was 11. This is why I started Words for the Wounded – war has long tentacles and our present day wounded must be helped to live confident and independent lives.

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My mother’s life was the basis for my first novel, recently reprinted as After the Storm (Arrow).

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I spent my some school holidays with my Uncle Stan and Auntie Isobel in their shop in Brady Square and go back to the North East often, and always visit Washington, and particularly Old Hall at Washington, which is a wonderful place, and where George Washington’s ancestors lived. The North East is beautiful and I feel part of the area, though I miss the pits. The people are friendly, the coast amazing. the countryside also, and its history is fascinating.

Easterleigh Hall at War hits the shelves in supermarkets and bookshops on 21 May and is the second in the series. It takes the Forbes and Bramptons through the 1st World War. I am writing the third and final Easterleigh Hall at the moment. It is a total pleasure to write about my home territory, and the same family as they move through the generations. I will miss them.

But there will be something else to write about. And so it all goes on. Life is just so interesting.

www.wordsforthewounded.co.uk

www.frostmagazine.com

www.margaret-graham.com

You can read the review of Easterleigh Hall at War here.