Hexham author Prue Phillipson publishes first novel
PUBLISHED: 08:33 17 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:33 20 February 2013
From a very early age Prue Phillipson wanted to write. And now, at the tender age of 81, she has had her first novel published
Even at the age of six, Prue Phillipson felt driven to write. She has written her way through school, university, a world war, a teaching job, voluntary work, a marriage, five children, 10 grandchildren, and the nursing of three elderly relatives.
But it is only now, at the age of 81 years - and in the same year that she became a great-grandmother - that Prue, who lives in Hexham, has finally had her first novel published.
It has all been very exciting. I have longed - literally all my life - to have a novel accepted by a publisher, she says. I love words and I have always been fascinated by the structure of language.
Her book, Jeanies Destiny, is set on the Galloway coast in the 1870s and is the story of a young girls struggle to keep her family together and find her true destiny in the face of many trials. It has been published by Quaestor2000, run by Roger Bennett, who specialises in historical novels.
Writing historical novels has just clicked with me, she says. Ive always loved history and I like being back in a different period.
Prue works in a bedroom that has been converted into an office in the family home. Here, she has been known to write up to 4,000 words a day.
Although this is her first novel to be accepted by a publisher, Prue has self-published a number of novels in the past and most of Prues earlier books were set in and around Northumberland. Prue was born
and raised in Newcastle but went
to university in London, where
she read English Language and Literature. She returned to the North East in 1974 with her husband Alan and settled in Hexham.
I love the North East and couldnt live anywhere else - the spacious countryside, the lovely little towns.
Prue incorporates familiar places and landscapes into her writing. Galloway - the setting for Jeanies Destiny - is an area of Scotland that she knows well, having enjoyed numerous family holidays in the region.
Surprisingly perhaps, Prue does not read a lot of fiction - although as a child she read most of the classics, as most of her reading is now done to research her
When she is not writing, Prue enjoys gardening and painting, mainly watercolours and pastels, and was a member of Hexham Art Club.
Describing her own writing style, Prue says: I want the story to rise out of the characters. I would never make a character follow a plot.
With a second novel, No Such Mirrors, due to be published - also by Quaestor2000 - a third novel set in the North East already completed and an idea brewing for a sequel to that, it seems that this could just be the start of Prues career as a novelist.
Im writing better now than Ive ever done. I dont think Ill ever run out of ideas and I cant see me ever not wanting to write.