Women Writers over 50
Fifty Odd is featuring women writers over 50 each week for 50 weeks. Each guest answers questions about her writing subjects, her writing inspiration, her purpose for writing, and her current books and upcoming writing projects.
English author, Judith Barrow, is featured this week.
Judith Barrow … Women Writers over 50
Judith Barrow is originally from Saddleworth, a group of villages at the foot of the Pennines in North West England. She moved to Pembrokeshire in Wales in 1978 with her husband, David and their three children, where she is a creative writing tutor.
She has completed three children’s books and two adult novels published. Her third book is due to be published in May 2013.She has a MA in Creative Writing, a BA (Hons) in Literature and a Diploma in Drama. She has had short stories, plays, reviews and articles, published throughout the British Isles and has won several poetry competitions.
Pattern of Shadows was published by Honno in 2010
Silent Trauma, published December 2012.
Judith Barrow … Women Writers over 50
I always knew that I wanted to be ‘a proper writer’, someone who had books out there for people to read. But that didn’t happen until I was in my forties, had beaten breast cancer, and gained a degree in Literature and a Masters in Creative Writing.
I’ve been a compulsive reader for as long as I can remember. As a child, every Saturday morning I went to the local village library with my mother and carried home a stack of books that didn’t always last the week. Books were both my passion and an escape. They also became an inspiration for the writing I did in secret. I hadn’t the confidence to show anyone what I was doing; the short stories, plays and poems stayed firmly hidden. And, later again, like many women, work, getting married and bringing up a family was a priority for a lot of years.
Women Writers over 50…
My latest book, my first eBook, is Silent Trauma. Silent Trauma is the result of years of research, and the need to tell the story in a way that readers will engage with the truth behind the drug Stilboestrol. So I had the idea of intertwining this main theme around and through the lives of four fictional characters, four women, all affected throughout their lives by the damage the drug has done to them. Their stories underpin all the harm the drug has done to so many women all over the world. The story is fictional, the facts are real.
Pattern of Shadows was inspired by my research into Glen Mill, a disused cotton mill in Oldham, Lancashire, and its history of being the first German POW camp in the country.
I was researching for an earlier book in the Local Studies and Archives in Oldham, while staying in the area, but reading about the mill brought back a personal memory of my childhood and I was sidetracked.
My mother was a winder in a cotton mill and, well before the days of Health and Safety, I would go to wait for her to finish work on my way home from school.
I remember the muffled boom and then the sudden clatter of so many different machines as I stepped through the small door, the sound of women singing and shouting above the noise, the colours of the cotton and cloth – so bright and intricate.
Above all I remember the smell: of oil, grease – and in the storage area. the lovely smell of the new material stored in bales.
When I thought about Glen Mill I wondered what life would have been like for all those men imprisoned there. I realised how different their days must have been from my memories of a mill and I knew I wanted to write about that.
So started 18 months of research…
Please go to Judith Barrow’s website to learn more about her. I think you will find that she is a fascinating woman. She is one more of the great women writers over 50!