This is My (Writing) Story

Little me, wasn’t I cute?

When I left home at 18, I wrote to my Nana, reams of pages in each letter. Every detail was included, nothing left out. I married at 21, and then wrote pages and pages of letters to family who lived abroad. I had my first child at 23, so my twenties were given to having my 4 children. My thirties were spent raising them. But in between I wrote snippets about what they got up to. One day I came across a correspondence course for creative writing with Kilroy’s College. Each week a different aspect of writing fiction was explained with exercises to do and then returned for grading. I loved to see the large brown envelope with my results from the previous week drop in my letterbox. The next weeks assignment would be included too. I received a Diploma with distinction at the end of the course and this started me thinking about short stories for magazines.

When I turned 40, I told myself I would have a novel written before I was 50. I was enjoying success with my short stories accepted in publications, newspapers and anthologies. Then at 45 my health deteriorated and at 46 had open-heart surgery. Writing took a back seat.  

Once I turned 50 I was determined to write that novel. One day at a funeral while looking at grave after grave, I got thinking about buried secrets. I started what I thought was a short story, but it grew and grew and hey presto, I had my debut novel. My Husband’s Sin was published by Tirgearr Publishing here in Ireland and they also published my second novel, Don’t Call Me Mum. I began to write a third novel, put it aside and started a fourth, put that aside, and instead enrolled in the University of Limerick to do a Masters of Arts, in Creative writing, completing it in August of 2020. Once my Masters was completed, I returned to my two unfinished novels and completed them. I may add that I had never been to college, and when I did enrol, it was for a Master’s no less! I loved every second of it.

My third novel, No More Secrets was published in late April 2021. These three novels are a trilogy, The Lacey Taylor Story. It was not my intention when I wrote book one that this would be the start of a trilogy but readers asked me what happened next? So it came to be, from wanting to complete a novel in my 50’s, I have produced a trilogy and a fourth novel along with other work. My fourth novel, To Live with a Stranger I hope to publish the start of autumn. In my 50’s, I’ve also had published, two western novellas with Writers of the West, USA, and two adult romance novellas, one with Tirgearr Publishing.

I continue to write short stories and enjoy success being published and placed in competitions, and running series’ of how to get started in writing plus story prompts in my local papers. I’ve dabbled in play-writing and had work commercially performed. I turn 60 next year and I’m excited to see what lies ahead for my writing life. So if you think about writing and think you have left it too late, not at all!! Give it a go, whatever it is you have set your heart on. I wish you well. 


Published by marytbradford

Family is important to Mary and her writing reflects the ups and downs of it all, and what people go through daily. She has been writing short stories for several years and enjoys success with her fiction in magazines, newspapers, and anthologies both in Ireland and abroad, namely Germany, India, and the US. Her stories have been both short/long listed in various competitions. It was because of this success, Mary took the plunge and self-published her first collection of stories titled, A Baker’s Dozen (2012). When one of her stories kept growing she ended up with her first published novel, My Husband's Sin. This novel turned into a trilogy, with book 2, Don't Call Me Mum, and book 3, No More Secrets following it. Her latest novel, To Live With A Stranger, is based on her Grandmother's country cottage and is a firm favourite with readers. Mary continues to write novels, novellas, and short stories, dabbling too in playwrighting. In 2019, Mary attended the University of Limerick and studied for a MA in Creative Writing, receiving First Class Honours. When taking a break from writing and reading Mary loves to crochet. Living in County Cork, Ireland, she is married and is a mother of four children. Having overcome open heart surgery in 2008, Mary made the decision to dedicate more time to her writing. With her children raised and starting to spread their wings, this became possible. Now, Mary is also a Nana, a role that brings her happiness and lots of love.

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