I'm rather old as you can tell by the fact that I started writing at the age of ten and have continued for over seventy years (so far). A childhood through World War Two is reflected in several of my books on the effects of war on subsequent generations, three of them (Another Kind of Loving, Beyond the Broken Gate and Long Shadows) forming a trilogy. There has been an anthology of short stories (Village 21), and a Young Adult book on the theme of alcohol addiction.
Somewhere along the line I met and married my climber and adventurer husband George Spenceley, who had been a pilot in World War Two, the sole survivor of an air crash, the sole survivor of an avalanche in Nepal, and had a glacier name after him on the Antarctic island of South Georgia. He is, alas, now my late husband, but even though I was his second wife we still managed nearly 38 years together, mostly travelling the world, about which he lectured and I wrote.
In fact travel writing formed the main part of my 'working' life. In my sixties I returned to my first love fiction, initially short stories, then novels, and I hope to continue until the pen falls out of my hand for the last time. Yes, I still like the feel of pen on paper, though, of course, I have migrated to a computer for the convenience of editing and publishing. George and I met through our interest in Finland. In addition to being an adventurer, he was a teacher and lecturer and had established a lecture circuit throughout the UK as well as parts of Europe. Our working lives and interests dovetailed very well, and though I was never a climber, he introduced me to long distance canoeing. We eventually canoed the full navigable length of the Danube and the Mississippi.
My latest book, out on 5th December, is an anthology of short stories celebrating advancing years for which, at 84, I can claim some experience. The title 'It'll be Better Tomorrow', is George's - his mantra when I expressed concern about him during the last difficult months of his life. It's a paperback which I hope to turn into a Kindle ebook in the New Year. The next book will be a mystery, with a slightly younger version of George as its main character.
My blog is atwww.sylvienickels.wordpress.com
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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