In 2007, I became a single parent and brought up the last of my four children, who was 13 years old at the time. Full-time homemaking, nurturing and long hours of employment, along with a multitude of other events meant writing – well significant progress in it – continued its roll into the long grass.
At the beginning of 2013 I seized the opportunity to write full-time, my youngest had left home the previous year and so I breathed in the winds of change, set my sails and allowed the billowing of ideas to at last ride the waves to the shores of my first published novel.
From time-to-time I draw on scenes and settings within Exeter, UK where I live (The Lying Truth is a good example) much like Anne Tyler does in her home city of Baltimore; I love her books and writing style. In addition, I admire the rich prose of Sebastian Faulks (one of my reader's thought Blood Relationships reflected his writing craft). I am also a great fan of Robert Goddard, the adept of twists and turns and page turning thrillers.
Those of you who know Exeter will recognise some of the locations I have mentioned in backdrops, including the University of Exeter - my Alma Mater, where I read Geography. But, if you have not visited the city, it is well worth the visit.
Exeter is the capital of Devon and is located at the geographic centre of the South-West Region of England. The city is so close to the sea, meadows and rivers and the rocky outcrops (granite tors) of Dartmoor, you can almost taste the sea-spray, breathe in the rich aromas of woodland and scents of the wild flowers and meadows and feel the wildness and the excitement of the Moors.
Having spent six years of my childhood living by the sea and several years of my adolescent years, living in the countryside, my heart always beats for the raw beauty nature provides.
In terms of paid employment, in the midst of raising four wonderful children, I have pursued a broad ranging career working in the private, public and charity sectors. I have worked within the police service, market, economic and demographic research, business and sales development, strategic planning and economic development.
My father became seriously ill when we were in the States, so much so, that we returned to England, where he died when aged 46 years and I had not long been 11 years old... I became a full-time single parent in 2007 and brought up the last of my four children, who was 13 years old at the time.
I was born in Cambridge, England. As a child of eight, along with most of my family, I emigrated to America, sailing across the Atlantic on the Queen Mary, what memories, and lived in New York and Connecticut. My father was an aircraft design engineer and my mother, a nurse. I still see America as my second home.
Sadly, my father became seriously ill when we were in the States, so much so, that we returned to England, where he died when aged 46 years and I had not long been 11 years old. My mother, brought up the remaining three children (all boys), still at home (I'm the youngest) and worked nursing shifts, including nights, to keep us fed and clothed. She died in 2007, aged 90 years. Looking back at the impact of my father's death on her, I fully understand the hardship, the struggle and the heartache she quietly and steadfastly, endured.
In the final six months, before my father's death, I was sent away to live with my uncle (my mother's only brother) and his partner, Bill. I have since drawn on my sense of their relationship in their elder years, when my Uncle was ill with dementia and created a fictional account within my first novel, Blood Relationships. You can read the passage here: The Wray Inn
Time, energy, space and finances were the four challenges that I faced when I began writing Blood Relationships, which was published in mid October 2013, but entered my consciousness in the late 1990s. Yet being the sole income earner, having a demanding job and four children consumed time and energy.
Copyright 2017 Philip A Oldfield - Author of cross genre psychological thrillers and romantic comedies, all with strong female protagonists
Exeter, Devon, England. All rights reserved.