Miriam Wakerly's new novel 'Secrets in Appley Green - a 1960s village novel' begins in 1960, which makes it 'historical' romance! Hot on its heels come two Kindle volumes of short love stories first published in magazines in the 1980s - 'Rings on our Fingers' and 'Bells on our Toes'.
She was born and brought up in Tetbury, Gloucestershire (of Highgrove fame) but has lived in Surrey for the past 38 years. With a degree in English, French, Sociology and Politics from Leicester University; a mixed working life that usually involved writing one way or another; and three adult children now flown the nest, she finally settled down to writing novels a couple of years before retirement.
Her previous (third) novel, Shades of Appley Green, is set in the same fictional Surrey-Hampshire village as her first two novels, Gypsies Stop tHere and No Gypsies Served. It is a 'modern village novel' set in around 2012. Her third and fourth novels have nothing to do with Gypsies.
Gypsies Stop tHere was launched the day after she stopped working. The Gypsy idea was seeded when working in the community supporting single teenage mothers when she thought the services being offered - support and information - should be extended to the Travelling community. Then excited and fascinated by the information she uncovered through reading; talking to Gypsies and Travellers; visiting sites; attending events; exploring websites of related organisations, she knew she had found her theme for a modern novel - perhaps many novels. More detail on this process can be found in her blog, Miriam's Ramblings. Many questions arose in her mind that her novels try to answer. She felt a need to reach out to people to help foster a better understanding of their current problems and erosion of their culture, but through a page-turner!
In 2010 No Gypsies Served was published, taking aspects of her theme further - looking at events of recent history to help explain current attitudes, for example. It looks back as well as moving forward.
Enjoyed by mainstream readers, her first two are also included on the recommended reading list for diversity police training; and some branches of the Traveller Education Service have used them in adult literacy classes.
She has spoken on many radio stations, especially BBC Surrey. She is one of the first Independent Author Members of the Romantic Novelists' Association and a long-standing member of the Society of Authors and LoveaHappyEnding.com. More recently she has run novel writing workshops and, since April 2016, has been a monthly columnist for Surrey Life magazine - writing about people who put life into Surrey villages.