Gwen Kirkwood was hatched on a Yorkshire farm and attended agricultural college but has spent most of her life in Scotland after being wonderfully matched to a Scottish dairy farmer. She has three children and five grandchildren, is now a widow and presently mulling over her twenty fifth novel – mainly family sagas with Scottish farm and country backgrounds.
Welcome to the RNA Blog, Tell us Gwen, what do you enjoy most about being a writer?
Living in a fictional world while writing a novel. I create characters, events and settings to suit myself – a bit like painting with words. I am never lonely.
What inspires you most, people or places?
People are important. Characters come first in my novels, but there are times when beautiful scenery, a magnificent dawn or sunset stir emotions and urge me to be creative.
In what way has your childhood most influenced your attitude to life?
Farm life is demanding and not always easy. We were brought up to help, share, work hard and to be thrifty. These lessons are not easily cast aside.
Which poem makes you laugh?
I remember lots of poems from childhood with great affection. The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear still makes me smile. As an adult I’ve had many a laugh at a Burns Supper from Holy Willie’s Prayer and Tam’0 Shanter.
Is there some treasured item from the past you’ve lost and still miss?
I had a pen friend in Malta .She sent me a brooch of a bird in flight, not valuable in money, but it still vexes me because I lost it.
What is your favourite way of relaxing?
I enjoy my garden. There is always something to do and forgotten plants re-appear with the changing seasons I have the birds to watch too.
And what about your new title?
Billy is the third generation of Carafords.. He survives a bad car accident but believes girls will regard him as a cripple. He works hard at university but he is determined to carry on the family tradition of farming. When Kimberley Wilshaw is orphaned she moves to Scotland with her aunt. Billy introduces her to new school friends and he is surprised at the way his uncle takes her under his wing. Friendship grows between the families. Kim develops the strength of character to confront problems and fight for the life and the love she craves.
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A new generation of the Maxwell family are farming at Wester Rullion during the 1980’s. Young Paul Maxwell and his cousin Ryan are determined to work together to restore the farm’s prosperity, with the support of their grandparents and so long as they can overcome the hurdles of new farming regulations.
Ryan has set his heart on marrying Molly Nairne, daughter of a prosperous local farmer, while Paul – abandoned by his mother as a young boy – is adamant that he will never fall in love. Can a new arrival at the farm cause him to change his mind
Watch my blog for details of a new e-book from Endeavour Press due
before Christmas http://gwenkirkwood.blogspot.co.uk
Thank you for sparing the time to talk to us today Gwen. We wish you continuing success with your books.
Best wishes, Freda.
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Interviews on the RNA Blog are carried out by Freda, Henri and Livvie. They are for RNA full members only.