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.