Writer shows it’s never too late to pen your first novel

TRILOGY: Antonia Abbott with her novel Mixed Emotions: An Oxfordshire Affair

TRILOGY: Antonia Abbott with her novel Mixed Emotions: An Oxfordshire Affair

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Bicester and Banbury. Call me on (01865) 425426

IT had always been a fam-ily joke that Antonia Abbott should write a book – but no one thought it would take 60 years.

Yesterday, her first book was launched at Coles Bookshop in her home town of Bicester.

The 60-year-old, who is an independent financial adviser by day, wrote Mixed Emotions: An Oxfordshire Affair, after a chance meeting with a book coach at a networking party two years ago.

Mrs Abbott said: “My mum always told me I should write a book because I have such a vivid imagination. She always encouraged me to read a lot as a child.

“Then when I married my husband three years ago he started saying the same thing.”

Now her first novel, about a fictional family living in Oxfordshire, has spun itself into a trilogy, published by Raven Crest Books, which will see the second and third books released next year.

Mrs Abbott said: “The plot centres on the Rowlands family, and the heroine is their daughter Susie.

“She has a very bad time – men, money and jobs – she is a complete mess. But I don’t want to give too much away.”

Speaking about the writing process she said: “I Just loved it.

“I started sitting down in the evenings and weekends and writing and I just let my imagination go.

“I also had lots of meetings with the book coach I met who gave me lots of advice. She also helped me to get published.

“I have only been stuck once over the nine months it took me to write my book, and I went and sat in the garden and my husband was trimming the lawn , and I just said ‘I’m stuck’.

“He started reeling off suggestions – despite not knowing anything about my book – and I just said ‘thanks’ and got up and went back to writing again.

“They [the characters] are still very much with me, they are almost real to me.”

Her mother Joan Gamble passed away in 2010 before Mrs Abbott’s book was published, but her retired husband Karl Hook-Pattison, 61, has been full of praise.

She has also gained five-star reviews on Amazon after releasing her Kindle edition last month.

Mrs Abbott said: “I never sat down to write because I never assumed I could. But now I see it on my desk, all these books to send to people, and I can’t quite believe it.”

  • Our top stories

What brilliant picture is in our Oxford Mail Advent Calendar today?

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Tuesday 9th December 2014

December is Advent Calendar time and we have a special new interactive graphic for you each and every day until Christmas Eve. I've chosen the best 24 pictures of 2014 and I'll be unveiling one a day - so what is behind's today's door?

Guess which of the great and good sent these Christmas cards

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

YOU know you’re starting to go places when you get Christmas cards from Oxfordshire's great and the good. Here's David Cameron's offering but can you guess who is responsible for the other five hidden in our interactive graphic and then read why they chose them

Much-loved narrowboat taken out of commission

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

A NARROWBOAT that has delighted elderly and disabled people with canal trips for more than two decades has sailed her last.

Campaigner welcomes move to approve new kidney cancer drug

Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author

7:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

CANCER campaigner Clive Stone has praised health bosses he once fought against for passing a kidney cancer drug, but pledged to fight for other sufferers.

Boris gets a reminder to return book to Oxford college's library

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Monday 22nd December 2014

MAYOR of London Boris Johnson had a confession to make when he visited Oxford to sign copies of his latest book.

Upgrade locks, say police, after spate of burglaries

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

6:30am Monday 22nd December 2014

BURGLARIES that have all used the same technique to break door locks have prompted a warning by police for residents to improve their home security.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree