Today we welcome Rosie Hendry to the blog, to talk about her fabulous new saga, The Mother’s Day Club
Hi Rosie, it’s great to have you visit us.
First of all, can you give us an insight into your main character?
Pregnant Marianne Archer, is a young woman who’s been let down by the man she loves and is determined to do everything she can to protect her unborn baby. Her evacuation out of London, is the perfect opportunity for her to start afresh and provide her child with the start in life that she never had.
What inspired you to write The Mother’s Day Club?
I was at the Imperial War Museum in London, doing some research for another book, and stumbled across an account written by an expectant mother who was evacuated on the day war was declared. She told of how they’d been waved off by their East End family and neighbours, and described the siren going off as they walked to the station. Rather than seek shelter, they’d kept on walking not knowing whether they were about to be bombed. It was such a powerful scene that I knew I wanted to write about it one day. Also, the fact that I hadn’t known that expectant mothers were evacuated as well as children, before I came across this account, made me want to tell their story which has been largely forgotten.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I must get characters’ names right before I can start writing. They need to fit with the person I have in mind and I might go through several different options before I settle on the right one. For the sisters in the Mother’s Day Club, I wanted names that sounded quite formal but could be shortened. They also needed to be typical of the era in which the characters were born.
Tell us about your setting and why you chose it?
The setting for the Mother’s Day club is in a village in rural Norfolk, halfway between the city of Norwich and the north coast of the county. I know it well having grown up in such a village, and heard many tales about what it was like during the wartime from my father. Often books focus on what was going on in major cities, but the war had huge effect on rural life too, and I wanted to show that.
For historical sagas, there’s often a lot of research involved. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I research in a wide variety of places from books, museums such as the Imperial War Museum, online sites, by visiting places or watching programmes. One of the best research sources are first-hand accounts, such as oral histories, which give the small details that are so important in conveying what the time was like. How long I spend doing research varies, perhaps up to a month, although I also do some as I go along as things crop up while I’m writing.
What do you find the most difficult part of writing process?
Keeping going day after day with the writing. It’s like running a marathon, and at the start the prospect of writing 95,000 words seems very daunting. But if I chip away at it day after day, I will eventually get a first draft written, then I can start to bash it into shape with editing, which I really enjoy.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t get it right, get it written! That’s the best piece of advice I ever had as I used to spend ages trying to perfect the first page and getting nowhere fast. Your first draft does not have to be perfect! If you can get the story down, you can work at it and improve it.
We’ve all got to have interests outside of our work. So, other than writing, what else do you love to do?
I love doing crafts, especially knitting and crochet, and always have a few projects on the go. I sometimes even do them while I dictate my books, as I find keeping my hands busy helps the flow of words.
I’m also passionate about nature and love getting out walking in the woods and fields all beach around my home village, looking at plants and animals, and what’s going on. And I love reading too!
If you were stuck on a desert island with one person/record/book who or what would it be and why?
My husband, Vaughan William’s The Lark Ascending, as it’s such a beautiful piece of music and reminds me of the glorious skylarks that sing on the cliffs in our village. And just one book… that’s such a hard choice! Can I be cheeky and have two? They would be the Lord of the Rings trilogy in one copy as I love the sweeping story of it; and Cathy Kelly’s The Honey Queen which is a favourite feel good read. There are many more I could choose.
Thank you again for coming to talk to us Rosie and giving us an insight into your book and your life. The very best of luck with The Mother’s Day Club
The Mother’s Day Club
Will friendship and motherhood keep the Women on the Home Front safe from war?
When the residents of Great Plumstead, a small and charming community in Norfolk, offer to open their homes to evacuees from London, they’re expecting to care for children. So when a train carrying expectant mothers pulls into the station, the town must come together to accommodate their unexpected new arrivals . . .
Sisters Prue and Thea welcome the mothers with open arms, while others fear their peaceful community will be disrupted. But all pregnant Marianne seeks is a fresh start for herself and her unborn child. Though she knows that is only possible as long as her new neighbours don’t discover the truth about her situation.
The women of Great Plumstead, old and new, are fighting their own battles on the home front. Can the community come together in a time of need to do their bit for the war effort?
The Mother’s Day Club is the perfect wartime family saga, filled with heart-warming friendships, nostalgic community spirit and a courageous make-do-and-mend attitude.
About Rosie Hendry
Rosie Hendry lives by the sea in Norfolk with her husband and children. A former teacher and research scientist, she’s always loving reading and writing. She started off writing short stories for magazines, her stories gradually becoming longer as her children grew bigger.
Listening to her father’s tales of life during the Second World War sparked Rosie’s interest in this period and she’s especially intrigued by how women’s lives changed during the war years. She loves researching further, searching out gems of real life events which inspire her writing.