Although Rebecca loved reading, and in fact cannot remember actually learning to read, she never imagined for one moment that she would ever become a novelist.
Rebecca went to a Quaker boarding school at the age of thirteen, and eventually to college to train as a primary school teacher. After four years teaching in Leeds Rebecca decided to apply to train as a teacher of the deaf. Fortunately she was successful in gaining a place at Manchester University and spent a year learning how to set about teaching children with very little hearing.
Her first post was at a school in Middlesex where she taught a class of ten hard of hearing children aged between 5 and 7 in a normal Primary School. It was a real challenge, but brilliant for them because they had all the facilities of a primary school, and the opportunity to play with children whose attainments and speech were well ahead of their own. The rewards for their teacher were tremendous.
Then one day Rebecca met Jack, on a blind date, and in a year they were married. They had three sons and then, believe it or believe it not, they had a daughter, which made their family complete. After years of hard work caring for them all, there came a day when only Jack and Rebecca lived permanently in they house, because the children were all working away from home or were at university.
This gave Rebecca the time to do her own thing.
Rebecca began an Evening Class in Creative Writing and loved it. After about a year she decided to write a novel, invented a village, drew a map of it, and began. Thus it was that Turnham Malpas was born. The publisher Orion bought it and asked Rebecca to write more.
After a few more novels about Turnham Malpas Rebecca needed a new challenge, and the publisher agreed that she should write about a veterinary practice; but where would she do her research, she was asked? So she confessed that both her eldest sons were qualified vets, and away she went, alternating Turnham Malpas and Barleybridge books for a few years. Rebecca's boys loved giving her the technical side of veterinary cases. She wrote down the symptoms, and the equipment needed, and the method, and then wove the details into the stories.
Rebecca loved writing. She found it the most satisfying occupation in the whole world. She did not have a rigid writing day, but only wrote when she wanted to, which was almost every day! But it was not unknown for Rebecca to go a whole week, or even two, without writing a single word. This was because she knew what came next, but couldn’t work out which of the people in the novel should be given the chance to tell the next stage of the story. Then, Rebecca said, it suddenly occurred to her, and she was away again.
Rebecca was guided by her characters, and began a novel knowing where she wanted it to start, knowing where she wanted it to finish, but not necessarily knowing, in depth, the story in between.
Rebecca got great satisfaction from receiving letters from readers who had been genuinely helped through crises in their lives by reading her books because becoming absorbed in her novels had helped them to forget their problems.
Rebecca met lots of her readers at meetings she spoke at, and she loved talking to them. Meeting them gave her a chance to see what parts of her books they loved the best, or which characters impressed them the most. Or even that they cried when one of their favourite characters died. Rebecca's view was she was sorry people cried, but death happens in real life, but then children are born, so that makes up for it.
A storyteller like no other. Packed with tales of love and heartbreak, passion and regret, her books are the perfect, glorious escape from the stresses of modern life.