Sitting, in the shade, on a recliner at the side of my pool is Suzi Stembridge, the author of, CAST A HOROSCOPE so please help yourself to a glass of chilled bubbly, a plate of tapas, then make yourself comfortable and enjoy slipping back to the 1960s.
What inspired you to write about the 1960s?
I am glad you caught me Pauline because I was just thinking of plunging into your inviting pool! But hush, because I don’t want the whole world to know: yet in 1960, World War Two had only finished fifteen years previously and I had just left college. The world was at our feet and in my case on my wings because I had just been accepted as a trainee air hostess for a small airline flying out of Southend. Many years later, married and with children, but before I studied with the Open University and started my travel business, I decided to write a novel based on these extraordinary times. But I promise the story is fiction!
Tell us little about the story and its plot without giving too much away
It is a story of a young woman who has been brought up to expect that her life will be fulfilled only when she marries well and has children. This was very much the mind-set of this generation where educated women were ‘expected not to work’ but to become full-time mothers and wives. Also, I suppose in many ways this story is moralistic. In those days sex was not acceptable outside marriage, (although of course it had been going on for millennia.) Because contraception in the early 60’s was still virtually non-existent the horrifying penalty could be childbirth out of wedlock or abortion. The naïve young girl in the story was as aware of the pitfalls as anyone and looking for genuine romance not a ‘good-time’. Hugely careful she soaked up the atmosphere of the Mediterranean countries and everything seemed wonderful, until ….
as we grow up we discover that there are very dark places in the world.
Several years later the heroine is married, outwardly happily and back home in Yorkshire. The story is again about chance encounters, except past events look likely to catch up with her.
Is any part of the story based on facts / real events?
The spirit of place of the countries visited and the descriptions of some of the wonderful sites such as the Acropolis, the Dead Sea, or Egypt are very much as they were back then. I believe it is very much a novel of its time. Flying in those days in 30 seater Vickers Viking or slightly larger Viscounts was a magnificent experience, when air-crew seemed to enjoy it as much as the passengers!
Are any of the characters based on someone real or are they pure fiction?
The characters are pure fiction! Although the story is fiction the experience of childbirth can go very wrong and some of the staff are not always as caring as we would expect these days; my second experience of childbirth was pretty horrific. We did have a young woman rooming with us in our air-crew quarters who was expecting a baby. Her secrecy as she tried to protect her job upset us all. Some aircrew at this time were perhaps typical of the characters, but by no means all.
If research was necessary what did this involve?
My other novels have been centred around vast amount of research but CAST A HOROSCOPE took off almost on its own highlighting how vivid were my memories of those fabulous times. Obviously where dates or descriptions are involved these have been checked in libraries (not as much on the internet because of the dates). I am planning to write a memoir, perhaps with my husband, about our travels in our travel business simply because, as with the writing of CAST A HOROSCOPE, it is such a joy to write from experience rather than from imagination.
Thank you Pauline, for dissuading me from that swim, I have much enjoyed sipping this lovely bubbly and going back to some fortunate times.
Facebook: Suzi Stembridge
Pennine Writers & Landscape Artists Capturing Greece
GREECE IS THE THEME
Jigsaw: Greek letters & Coming of Age – Two Quartets
Linkedin: Suzi Stembridge at Freelance Author and Writer
The Open University: BA. Hons (OPEN)
Member of the Institute of Journalists: M.C.I.J
http://amzn.to/1nKE5wR Full Amazon page co.uk
http://amzn.to/1pfOuljFull Amazon page.com
http://amzn.to/ZSpdvZ CAST A HOROSCOPE
Thank you for stopping by and meeting Suzzi
Until next time, I hope the sun is shinning on your face and in your heart.