Have you ever wanted to write a book? That’s the dream Penny Ann Lonsdale had and now it has come to fruition with the launch of her self-published novel Labour of Love. The book is a story of family, turmoil and hardship set in the Caribbean and England, it charts the story of Phylis a young woman, travelling alone to a pre-arranged marriage and the ‘cold hard truth’ of Northern England.
How long have you been writing?
This is my first book. It’s the first of a trilogy. I had started writing a few children’s books but they didn’t get off of the ground. I kept a diary for 17 years when I was growing up so I guess my passion for writing started then.
How did you become involved with the theme of your book?
The book is about a young girl growing up in the Caribbean. It tells the story of the ups and down and trials and tribulations of her childhood and how it follows her into her adult life. I love history, especially my own and wanted to read about something different other than slavery. I saw a quote once that said; “If you want to read a good book, write one” so I did and here it is.
Where does your love of storytelling come from?
I would have to say my imagination. I love expressing myself through words and really enjoy turning words into drama with the way I describe things.
What did you enjoy most about writing the book?
I suppose being confident that people would enjoy it. I enjoy the way I captured the emotion and turned the words into a book that people could not put down. That excited me the most.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Knowing that the lead character could be anyone suffering in today’s society and be keeping quiet about it. Knowing that many women like her would have nowhere to go. I found that part hard.
How did you make time to write?
Every little spare moment I had I would make notes in my phone and transfer them later on. I have a full-time job and am raising my son alone so time is precious. But I am of the belief that if you’re passionate about something; truly passionate; you’ll get your wish.
What process did you go through to get your book published?
A difficult one. To find a publisher who would pay me to write so they could publish was very difficult as the well-known publishers would only take on well-known authors or celebrities. I am neither (yet). I did not want an E-book. I wanted a tangible book where people could flick back to the pages they liked the best. So I had to self-publish; which was costly, but I hope it will be worth it in the long run.
What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
Because it’s about true life. It’s what happened. It’s what could still be going on today in some people’s lives. There’s a twist to it that no one expects and when you get to the end; you want to instantly pick up the sequel. But I haven’t started it yet.
Who are some of your favourite authors and what impact have they had on your writing?
J. California Cooper is my all time favourite writer. I also like Jackie Collins, Geoffrey Archer, Sydney Sheldon, Jilly Cooper and Terry MacMillan to name but a few.
I love the way (these authors) draw you deep into their books. I want that same effect when people read mine. I also love humour in books where you least expect it.
I want readers to really understand this lady and feel her pain and happiness. I want to capture passion; knowledge and pain and on reading books from my favourite authors; that is what impacted on me
What do you like to read in your free time?
Good question! At the moment I tend to read about trends and articles on Facebook. Mainly history, which I love.
You can order a copy of Labour of Love on Amazon here