Today I’m pleased to welcome Pam Weaver to the blog. Pam’s novels include Pack Up Your Troubles, Better Days Will Come and There’s Always Tomorrow. Her latest novel, Always in my Heart was published by Pan Macmillan on 15 June 2017.
Pam kindly answered a few of my questions.
1. Tell us a little about Always in my Heart.
When Florrie is diagnosed with TB, she has to go to a sanatorium. It’s 1939 and her children, Shirley and Tom (a boy who has, what we would now term as, learning difficulties) are evacuated to Sussex. Billeted on a run- down farm where they are expected to do their share of the chores, Shirley hates it but for the first time in his life, in looking after the animals, Tom is able to do something he enjoys. Then Shirley stumbles across a dark secret which will alter the course of their lives forever.
2. What inspired the book?
A friend gave me 3 sheets of A4 in which she described her personal experiences as an evacuee. She was sent from the home-counties to Yorkshire where her host, although kindly enough, had such a broad accent she couldn’t understand a word she said! Imagine that aged 4.
3. Are you a plan, plan, plan writer or do you sit down and see where the words take you?
I find my characters and I have a rough idea of the end of the story. As for the bit in the middle, I make the same journey as the reader.
4. You have written a number of novels over the years, with many of them being bestsellers. Is there still anything about the process of creating a novel that still surprises you?
Some describe a book as being like a child. They are all different. Some almost write themselves whilst other are darned hard work!
5. What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all?
Many moons ago, my hubby and I began a group called The Dark Horses. It’s made up of people roughly our own age and was started because a friend had recently been bereaved, having nursed his wife for three years. Twenty plus years later, it’s still going. We socialize together; it’s changed as we’ve got older but we still do theatre trips, pitch & put, boat rides, holidays, party games, bring and share meals etc. Always great fun.
6. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?
The Bible. (Full of great stories!)
7. I like to end my Q&As with the same question so here we go. During all the Q&As and interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?
Hard question. I’m tempted to joke, ‘would you like some chocolate…’ but seriously, ‘Is there anything about a character, with the benefit of hind-sight, you would like to change?’
About the book
“1939. When war is declared, twins Shirley and Tom are evacuated to the coastal town of Worthing. Almost fourteen, they are very close to their mother, but leaving London is the only way to keep them safe. Shirley is the bright one of the pair, whereas Tom is sometimes slow to understand the world around him. But Shirley helps him get by and is his best friend and ally.
The twins are taken in by a local farmer, but their new home quickly proves to be far from a rural dream. Tom is forced to do back-breaking work and sleep under the stairs each night. The farmer’s wife is heavily pregnant, and seems to live in fear of him. She’s refusing all midwives, so it will be up to Shirley, with no experience in the matter, to help her deliver her baby.
Their new teacher at the local school notices that something is not right with the children, but the farmer keeps the twins from seeing anyone, even their own mother. As the cold weather sets in and Tom falls ill, will Shirley be able to find a way out for them both?”
About the author
Pam Weaver is a bestselling author of saga novels set in Worthing, including There’s Always Tomorrow, Better Days Will Come, Pack Up Your Troubles, For Better For Worse, Blue Moon and Love Walked Right In. Pam’s inspiration comes from her love of people and their stories and her passion for the town where her novels are set. She is married with two grown-up daughters and lives in Worthing.