i’m delighted to invite my long-term friend and fellow author, Pat Posner to my blog today. Pat and I worked together many years ago on the My Little Pony magazine. A talented and prolific author, Pat’s had a long and varied publishing career including writing 100 children’s book, but nowadays she writes gorgeously nostalgic family fiction.Today she’s interviewing Polly from her novel And the Jukebox Played their Song, a ‘Broome Park Prefab Village‘ novel, set in the 1950s published in e-book by Fabrian Books.
Here’s the blurb
Polly’s parents are going to Wales for her father to convalesce after having TB. Polly’s dismayed to hear she’s to go and stay with her grandmother. Gran and Mum don’t seem to like each other much; there’s always a tense atmosphere when Gran visits them. Polly has never been to her grandmother’s so she has no idea she’ll be spending the summer and autumn of 1955 living in a house very different from the one she lives in with her parents. She knows she’ll be miles away from home, though. And miles away from Johnny – her skiffle playing boyfriend.
Johnny tells Polly he’ll come and see her every week no matter how far away she is. But will Gran be like Mum and disapprove of Johnny, think Polly too young to be in love and forbid her to see him?
The village where Gran lives is almost in the country but staying at Gran’s is better than Polly thought it would be. She makes new friends and grows close to her gran (not only because Gran allows her to see Johnny) and can’t understand why Mum and Gran don’t get on. Feeling sure something happened between them in the past, Polly is determined to find out the reason for the discord.
The answer comes about in a rather surprising way…
Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? Now I’ll let Pat take over with her interview.
Hello, Polly. It’s great to be back in the 1950s. It’s an exciting time with new fashions and all the different sort of music, isn’t it!
It is. I love all sorts of music – especially some of the older songs. They tell a story, sometimes sad, sometimes happy, and so often the words or a song title relate to my life. And as for new fashions… Well, it was because of that I met Johnny. I’d been to a dance with Jean and we were walking to the bus stop when I got the heel of my shoe stuck down a crack in the pavement. They were stiletto-heeled shoes, I’d only just bought them and I wasn’t used to walking in them. Anyway, suddenly this gorgeous lad appeared and he wiggled my shoe out of the crack. We didn’t have time to talk much because the bus was coming but he asked me to meet him outside the Roxy cinema the next evening. So I did, and that’s how it all started.
So you’d been going out with Johnny a while when you found out you were going to stay with your gran?
Quite a while. Long enough to know he was the only one for me and he felt the same way, too. That’s why I was angry and upset when I found out I was being sent to stay with my gran. I’d never been to her place before but I knew it was a long way away. It took her over an hour-and- a-half to get home when she’d visited us. That was the worst thing – I’d be miles away from Johnny. Mum wasn’t that keen on him because he played in a skiffle band and wore his hair in a James Dean style. I was sure I was being sent to Gran’s to keep me and Johnny apart. I mean, I could have stayed with a neighbour or my best friend, Jean, but Mum said they weren’t family and Gran was.
And because you were under twenty-one, your parents made all the rules and decisions.
That’s right. And Mum had arranged everything behind my back. She’d written to my bosses at work and told them I was leaving and found me a job near Gran’s. I had a right good moan about it all but then Mum made me feel like I was being really selfish thinking only of myself instead of feeling glad Gran and Auntie Edna, who lived with Gran, were willing to have me there so Dad could go somewhere to help him get better. I was dreading telling Johnny about it but he promised he’d come and see me every week and said we could write to each other and phone each other from phone boxes, too.
So you felt a bit happier about everything when you set off to go to your Gran’s?
A little bit. Auntie Edna’s fiancé, Jack, was taking me there in his car. Johnny had popped a little note through the letterbox that said if he could send me a song it would be Unchained Melody so I knew I was his love, his darling and he needed my love. Thinking and dreaming about that on the journey made me happy and sad at the same time. And I got to know Jack a bit. That was good because I’d be working for him at his estate agency.
And when you got to your gran’s place?
I’d never seen houses like hers before and there were no cobbled streets like back at home. Everyone seemed to have big gardens with lots of flowers and there was a huge, green park right close by. Gran was waiting outside for me and we both felt a bit sort of shy, really. Auntie Edna wasn’t there, she was a midwife and had gone to see one of her new mums. Anyway we went inside and Gran showed me around and she’d done everything she could to make me feel welcome. I was sharing a bedroom with Auntie Edna. I wasn’t too sure about that but when she came home she said I should drop the ‘auntie’ because it made her feel old. And we talked about records and songs and got on really well.
So did you start to settle down there after a while?
I did – even though it was like living out in the country and a long way from any shops. Johnny and I wrote to each other and we talked on the phone – I went to the phone box outside work and he phoned me there. And it wasn’t that long before he’d got a way of coming all that distance to see me every week. I made some new friends, one of who had a secret problem I helped him with, and I started to like Gran a lot – and not only because she liked Johnny when she met him. I couldn’t understand why Gran and Mum never seemed to get on together and I couldn’t help feeling there was some sort of secret or mystery about something in their lives, too. I think Edna thought that as well.
So you decided to try and find out about it?
I wanted to, yes, but I couldn’t work out how. In the end, though, it just sort of happened. A lot of it was down to the new coffee bar a few doors down from Jack’s estate agency. I went in there to play and listen to records on the jukebox. And when the big surprise that solved the mystery and the bad feeling between Mum and Gran happened, it was sad and exciting and lovely all at the same time. And… OK, so I told you how titles of songs often relate to my life and a lot of those song titles are in “And the Jukebox Played their Song”. That title relates to Gran’s life, too, and is all part of the secret you can discover when you read the book.
Want to find out what happens next? You can buy the book here: http://amzn.eu/fMtHIPH
Pat had her first publication when she was eight – a silly rhyme in her school magazine. A few years later she started writing children’s books and has had over 100 published. Now she writes short fiction for women’s magazines and Pocket Novels – “family and friends” stories set in the 1950s and also contemporary romance. She is published by DC Thomson, in large print books by Ulverscroft and writes nostalgic romances set in the 1950s published in e-book by Fabrian Books.
Her stories are set in villages in Lancashire and the Yorkshire Dales. Everyday life in country villages, where gossip and “newsiness” abound, isn’t always as tranquil or as uneventful as it sometimes seems. But there’s usually a neighbour or friend to help overcome any problems.
Pat lives in a farmhouse on a sheep farm with her husband, Peter. They are owned by Ted, their Rough Collie, visiting wildlife and the sheep who graze in the moorland meadows outside Pat’s study window. The farmhouse and animals often appear in her stories.
Bring a little sunshine into your life with one of my sassy, feel good romances. From Amazon and other book stories. All books available in print too.