MY FIRST BOOK -THE STORY
As a young girl brought up on the outskirts of Liverpool, I often heard the family adults whispering amongst themselves. Curiosity almost overwhelmed me. What were they talking about they wouldn’t share with me?
Years flew by, but the whisperings didn’t stop. When my mother eventually told me what was being discussed over the years, I can only use one word to describe how I felt -disappointed. What? That’s not scandalous?
A SCANDALOUS STORY
It appears a family member had been made an heiress to the soon to become Mayor of Liverpool, on condition she married well! Things didn’t turn out well for all concerned, as the young woman (I still didn’t know her name) ran off with the estate’s coachman.
As a young woman myself in the 60s ready to take up a career in nursing, I found the story rather far-fetched and insipid. Not for me as a teenager in the swinging sixties.
Around 2008, I found my scandalous family member on an Ancestry site her name – GRACE ROSCOE born 1719. Many hours, days, months and years passed with my new favourite hobby and it started to bring Grace to life for me. I became fascinated with her and her STORY. I had even moved to live in Frodsham in Cheshire – a place I’d never heard of previous to my visit there when I married.
Why is Frodsham important? John Hazlehurst is the coachman Grace eloped with and he is from the Market town of Frodsham!
A coincidence, I wondered? Or a spooky story perhaps?
By 2010, I had unearthed nearly everything I could about John Hazlehurst and Grace Roscoe, my 5th Great Grand Parents, but still, I had never thought about writing their story. A simple reason perhaps was I had never written anything except reports for work. Which may be important but hardly entertaining.
Disaster struck in my personal life and I developed breast cancer – fairly advanced. I went through a gruelling year of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Grace visited me during my chemical hallucinations. No, I don’t believe in things like that either, but she kept coming back. She became ingrained in my mind, I was convinced she wanted me to write her story. I was obsessed with making sure her story wasn’t lost.
During my recovery, I started to learn the basic principles of writing a first book, (more writing tips) and how to blog. I continued to gather more information about John and Grace (thank goodness for the internet) and their love story. What I found was a feisty young woman who was willing to die for the man she loved. Who wouldn’t want to write about that?
Now I’m fit and well, and enjoy writing, and thank Grace for the opportunity to start something I would never have thought of a few years earlier.