The first one, The Singing Winds, named after a line in an old folk song, is set over on the Durham coast not far from Sunderland. I was inspired to write it after I visited Seaham, the old pit town where my grandmother and her family lived before she left the bakery in which she worked and travel to Weardale. There she met and married my grandfather who was a tenant farmer.
Seaham, when I knew it, years ago, was a very dramatic place, the pit wheel set beyond the little town, the rolling sea crashing up the beach and three big pits close together. The man in the book is called Jon Armstrong. I rang my sister, after I finished writing it, I told her, 'I have created the perfect man'.
The second, Far From My Father's House, is named after a line in an old Irish poem and tells of the Lowe family who were tenant farmers and of their joys and sorrows before and during the second world war. How things changed there because of the war and how the death of their loved ones affected their lives.
The third book is called Under A Cloud Soft Sky. The title came from a poem by a local man, George Leslie Lister. It's set in Tow Law, the tiny pit town on the Durham moors where I was brought up and is about two boys and two girls. When it was first published my daughter and her friends read it because it was about people their age. My teenage novel! It's also about an love affair which an older woman has with a young man and how a beautiful girl is seen as nothing more than a pretty face.
The fifth book is called Snow Angels and I got the title from the children's game of lying down in thick snow and pushing your arms and legs to their furthest extent. When you get up the imprint looks like an angel. I worked so hard on this book. It's set in Newcastle upon Tyne where I was born and is the story of a shipbuilding family. I did huge amounts of research for it, as I do for all my books.
The sixth book is Shelter From the Storm, originally Black Prince and is the first of a trilogy but it stands alone as well.It tells the story of two young women who marry the wrong men and of men who are outsiders in insular society.