Hi I'm Lilian Wookey,
I have just created my own website, http://www.wookeysworld.com/index.html at last!!!! Check it out!
I was born in 1936, in Barrow-In-Furness, Lancashire, Britain.
A working class shipyard town, involved with building submarines, destroyers, large guns etc, during WW2.
I have always lived with lots of stories in my head. So on my retirement I took an A and B course in Creative writing, through Lancaster University. Then I went on to do more Creative Writing, and Moving On courses, also writing for radio. I wrote a comedy play for the theatre, it was produced locally. I have had several articles in magazines, local newspapers, and had short stories and poetry published.
I used the first chapter of Jane's story to enter a screen writing competition. It was for women from Cumbria. I was one of ten finalists, and thirty years older than the other women. The chapter won me my place. It was with Shoreline Films, and was a really exciting and rewarding course, we had a wonderful tutor. (They had just won awards at Cannes Film Festival for a film called Frozen.) From that course I'm writing a television series called Sisters.
I published Jane's story as a paperback.
It's Jane's child's eye view of working class life during WW2, and has been received into the Barrow Library Archives. I have sold almost 1,500 copies. Now I'm invited to groups and schools, to give talks about my life as a child.
I missed a lot of school through WW2 and circumstances afterwards. We were badly blitzed in Barrow because of the Germans who were aiming for the shipyard. It had very little damage done to it! I was evacuated at five years old, and had five moves due to neglect, death, over crowding etc. In the end I thought I was never to go home.
What I didn't know, was that my mother didn't want me. I was almost nine years old before I saw my home again. My brother Tom was taken home before me when my mother found out he was neglected and starving on a farm.
I was ten and Tom thirteen when my father was demobbed from the 8th army. He was a complete stranger to me. I have always felt although he didn't die in the war, 'I still lost my father.'
He couldn't get work, so we moved into a corner shop. My mother intended to open it with green grocery, as they weren't on ration. 'There were corner shops on almost every street in those times.'
My mother made the cleaning of the house my responsibility, also trained me to serve in the shop. Then at twelve she trained me to be a florist in our small family business. This was the best thing she did for me. Floral Design has opened many doors for me both here and abroad. Life has been my teacher, because again I missed a lot of schooling.
My mother became an alcoholic and my father a drunk. They fought both physically and mentally it made life difficult. Tom left home at fourteen to live and work on a farm.
I'm just finishing a Barrow mother's view of her life in the war. It is true stories that I have heard, seen and been told. It's written as Novella. Also, I have started to write the next ten years of Jane's story.
I love what I have done so far. I have had a hard but colourful, long life. With lots of experiences some funny and some not so. Still I'm tough and resilient. I don't give in easily and love the challenge of writing.
I've finally got my website up and running http://www.wookeysworld.com/index.html
please have a look and spread the word...I'll be posting a blog regularly to tell you what I'm up to, and new books/projects that are in the pipeline..
See you soon, Lilian x