Interview with Avril

What made you turn to writing?
My husband always said  I should write a book but I never found the time before I retired. I’ve always enjoyed writing, I suppose I inherited it from my dad. He used to write down his experiences about the war to help my children with their school projects. I like writing letters and people always seem to enjoy reading them as well, so I carried on from there. I was only going to do the one but found myself writing the sequel.

How did the sequel come about?
I had letters from all over the world after the first book, What’s For Ye Won’t Go By Ye and it is now being published in India and Russia. It was lovely to have such nice feedback. The first book went up to the 1960s so I decided to carry it on from there until the present day.

What are the books about?
The first book followed a young girl in Glasgow, who was born after the Second World War. It tells her family’s story into the 1950s and the pop era of the 60s, before she meets someone and falls in love. The sequel explores what happens to the couple after that. I left Scotland in 1971 and was nervous about getting details about the area wrong, so I decided to move the fictional character to Surrey so I could write about places I knew about.

Are the books semi-autobiographical?
No, but they are inspired by my own memories and experiences of the people and places I remember. The people are fictional but I have drawn on things that happened during those years and elaborated on them to form the story.

Did you have to do a lot of research about Kingston in the 1970s and 80s?
I lived in Kingston for 30 years so I used my memories of the area, such as the famous power station chimneys, Bentalls, taking trips on the river to Hampton Court Palace and the old Three Fishes pub.

Will there be a third book to create a trilogy?
Everyone keeps saying that to me. Chasin’ That Carrot follows the couple right up until the present day, but my husband said there is always scope to branch off.

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