The Girl from Penny Lane

The Girl from Penny Lane

The Girl from Penny Lane
The Girl from Penny Lane:  Kitty Drinkwater, is young.  She lives in Paradise Court, just off Burlington Street.
Kitty is always hungry and dressed in rags, as life is tough in Liverpool,  in the years after the First World War
As the eldest child, she is the scapegoat for her feckless, drunken mother.
She dreams of a better life…

Lilac Larkin’s prospects, by contrast, are very different.
She is a beautiful, self-possessed young woman.
Lilac is sure that her life will be full of promise and excitement,  even when her pleasant job as a lady’s maid comes to an end and she starts work in a bag factory.

So when the two girls meet by chance, in a millinery shop,  neither can have any idea what changes in their lives the encounter will bring.   Nor how strangely fate will work to bring them together once more.

About the Author – Katie Flynn:    

Katie was born in Norwich,  and attended the Norwich High School for Girls.   She was extremely happy and extremely undistinguished.  Former pupils still remember the serial stories she wrote.   She would leave them  in her desk,  so that they could be circulated to anyone more interested in light fiction,  than in doing their prep work.

She wrote her first poem at the age of eight.   It was published in Enid Blyton’s ‘Sunny Stories’.
She wrote:  “Success is a heady wine, even at eight years old”.
Whenever she was not  reading,  riding horses or playing tennis,   she wrote,  from then on.

Despite her early success with Ms Blyton,  she had  never even considered publication.
She even wrote whilst she pursued boys,  caught one,  married him and had his children.

“When I married Brian,  we moved away from Norfolk.  We  have lived in the North West for nearly 50 years
and have two sons and two daughters”.

In order to earn her  first typewriter,  she cleaned offices and wrote short stories, articles and talks for radio and magazines.   She then got post-natal depression,  through being alone too much,  in a town where no-one knew her.

Brian saw an advert in the local library,  for a writers’ circle.   He rang the chairman and enrolled her.
She claims they were wonderful.  Very professional.

“They insisted that we should study markets and sell our work, not simply write for our own satisfaction”.

She wrote anything she thought she could sell,  as with four children to bring up, they needed the money badly.
Through the postal strike in 1971,  her earnings dried up,  because she could not send contributions out to magazines. She too could not receive small cheques in payment.

“A friend bet me I couldn’t get a book accepted.   So I wrote one.  To my astonishment,  it was published and I was off. Writing family sagas,  modern novels and anything the publishers wanted.  I kept on writing books after that.
I have had almost ninety published to date under various pseudonyms”.

Katie and  Brian owned and ran a small restaurant,  (fifty covers).  They also ran a sandwich delivery service.
Catering is just another name for hell,  she would say,   but she enjoyed every minute of it.
She went on writing regardless.
‘Chasing Rainbows’,  ‘Jenny Alone’, and  ‘The Arcade’,   all owe their existence to her time in catering.
In  the early nineties she decided to try her hand at a different sort of book ,   which she  chose to set it in Liverpool, because it is such a vibrant and exciting place.

The Liverpudlian sense of humour is legendary.   The people are not only warm and friendly,  but happy to tell you every thing about themselves.  They even found something to laugh about in the dreadful poverty of the thirties and the fearful blitz of the forties.

The research necessary for these books means she come into contact with many of her readers.
From harassed housewives,  struggling with rations , to evacuees enjoying the pleasures of country living for the first time.  Liverpool people are happy to talk about their experiences and she loved to listen to them.

She wrote two books a year, both between 130,000 and 150,000 words long.
Travelling around the North West and signing copies,   meant that she would  meet readers on a casual friendly basis,  whilst catching up with friends in the trade.

Each morning she would write from nine to twelve-thirty.  In the afternoons,  she does as much of the housework as she can manage.  She listens to audio-books.   As she  can no longer read print,  she potters in the garden, which she loves.

Her plans for the future are to go on writing and to have a bit more fun.
One of her sons lives with his wife in Spain.  The other is in Australia with his two little girls.

They visit Spain from time to time and have been to Australia three times.  Luckily her two daughters live near her.


The Girl from Penny Lane



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