Today’s guest blogger is Rosey Darbishire, winner of our Writers’ & Artists’ 2009 short story competition. Rosey has already enjoyed some success writing radio plays, but winning the competition has been a high point for her, she says. Knowing that a lot of you have been keen to find out more, we asked her to share what inspires her and why she writes…
Recently I was ordered into a tiny red plastic Postman Pat van by a three-year-old. He told me that I had to stay there. As I sat, knees to chest, I thought about the power children have over those who love them. That was the start of In the Wendy House and a milestone after many years of hopes, and a few years of hard work.
I’m proof of the ‘don’t give up’ school of positive thinking. As a little girl I wanted to be an ‘authoress’ like Enid Blyton, but career choices were limited in those days and I became a teacher instead. I’ve also been a shop assistant, researcher and counsellor in between years and years of being a housewife. (I’m married to a retired GP, live in Cumbria and have three grown-up children and two grandchildren.)
When the phone rang the other day I picked it up thinking it was the septic tank man. It wasn’t (he still hasn’t been!) and instead it was the news to say that I had won the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook competition. I’m not sure I reacted adequately; I didn’t shriek or squeal or say, ‘Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!, and must have been a disappointment to the girl letting me know. Later that day it became real and I sent emails and made phone calls and generally bragged, and it was all very exciting. It has been the high point since I determined to write seriously – and be published – some years ago.
This began when I joined a group of ten called ‘Rural Women’. We met once a month, and communicated by email as we lived great distances apart. Gradually we developed a script that became a radio play and was broadcast on Radio 4 in 2006. Four of us went on from this to become ‘Mothers’ Ruin’, and over the last year have written and performed our work. A bottle of champagne is in the fridge waiting to be shared with those three writing friends – they have been a great support and inspiration. Before this my successes were a few short scripts performed locally and a story published in a women’s magazine.
‘In The Wendy House is a gloomy piece, so it might be a surprise to learn that I really like writing humour, and my favourite form of writing is dialogue. I have two radio plays that I am working on at the moment. I write in the afternoons, when I can’t put it off any longer and lead an ordinary life – I haven’t travelled, run a marathon, a brothel, or a bank. I am just the mother of three grown-up children. Perhaps winning this will be the start of a more exciting life – and I do clean up well for cover photographs…