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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > August 2018 > SUBSCRIBER SPOTLIGHT


Share your writing success stories. If you subscribe to Writing Magazine and would like to feature here, email Tina Jackson,

A voice in the darkness

Owl at Midnight is my first novel, although I have written a non-fiction book, a few short stories and articles over the years,’ writes subscriber Patricia Lennan.

‘Completing a novel had always been my ambition but like many of us, life and commitments to work and family had to take priority.

‘When I moved to Anglesey (Ynys Môn) in the 1980s I discovered that I had an uncle (sadly then passed away) who had lived in the house which was considered to be the court of the very last true Prince of Wales, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd. His wife Eleanor de Montfort died giving birth to their daughter Gwenllian.

‘I stood in the room where this sad event was said to have happened and learnt that Gwenllian was taken a year later, after the slaughter of her father, to a convent in Lincolnshire. History tells us that she stayed imprisoned there for the rest of her life.

‘This really inspired me and I think this was where my story was born. It was quite a few years later though when I began to research the life of this family and all the historical background. We live in an area here on Anglesey which is rich in living history myths and legends and this was a fascinating journey.

‘A lot of work lay ahead me however, but I was determined to carry on. I never wanted my epitaph to read “She never wrote that novel”. On a serious note though, very little had been written about Gwenllian and I really felt that her voice needed to be heard. Very little is known about her at all so much of the manuscript had to be my own interpretation and imagination blended with historical fact.

‘I was very lucky to be in Waterstones in Northampton (where I was born) one day several years ago and met Jenny Knowles from Little Knoll Press who became interested in my project and later agreed to publish the book. She was a great help to me and we worked together to shape and edit the book and the rest, as they say, is history.’

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About Writing Magazine

In the new issue, you can discover ten ways to make yourself more publishable, and learn how to bounce back from one of the hardest, yet most inevitable experiences for a writer – rejection. Also in August's WM, explore the philosophy of crime and the real Venice with bestselling crime writer Donna Leon in our star interview, check out £13,300 in writing prizes waiting to be won, and keep up to date with all the latest opportunities to get into print.