My Writing Journey by guest author, Maggie Cobbett
Please welcome my friend and fellow Swanicker, Maggie Cobbett to the blog today. Thank you for joining me today, Maggie. Over to you!
I’ve come quite a long way since my first published piece, an article in the Audio-Visual Language Journal about teaching German across the ability range. Winning a free place at The Writers’ Summer School (Swanwick) in 2006 was a huge boost to my confidence and I’ve been back every year since. During that time, I’ve had numerous acceptances for stories and articles, seen the occasional poem in print and also enjoyed reviewing shows for the local press. Much support has also been derived from my membership of Ripon Writers’ Group, York Writers and the more recently formed Promoting Yorkshire Authors.
Having decided to leave the classroom behind me, I signed up to a casting agency and worked as a supporting artist (‘extra’) on a variety of productions filmed in Yorkshire. At the time of writing, I’m a ‘village regular’ on ‘Emmerdale’, which is not only great fun but also a frequent source of inspiration. My novel ‘Shadows of the Past’ is set over three time periods in a village close to Paris. Originally inspired by the disturbing events of a summer I spent there as a teenager, it delves into the scars left on the little community by the German occupation of WW2. There is a lighter side, though. Central to the story is the love story of the young people seen in the framed photograph on the front cover. Eagle eyed readers might recognise the girl!
I’ve also brought out three very different collections of short fiction. The theme of ‘Anyone for Murder?’ is, not surprisingly, murder. ‘Had We But World Enough’ focuses on people’s determination, for good or evil, to make a life for themselves in a new country. The stories in ‘Swings and Roundabouts’ all have a twist in the tail. Last year saw the publication of ‘Wheels on Fire’, a novel for children about a wheelchair bound teenager’s quest for revenge. My work in progress, also intended for children at the moment (although that could change), is the story of a London workhouse boy sent up to Yorkshire in 1900 to be apprenticed to a coal miner.
Much to my own surprise, my best seller to date has proved to be ‘Easy Money for Writers & Wannabes’. Having mentioned at Swanwick that money earned from writing ‘fillers’ generally financed my place, I was asked the following year to run a workshop on the subject. The little handbook came from that. One reviewer referred to it as ‘the gift that keeps on giving’.
All my books are available from Amazon as both paperbacks and downloads.
My website is http://www.maggiecobbett.co.uk