I have always wanted to write. When I left school (in East London) with a fistful of 'O' levels including good English grades, I wrote to every London publisher. The only response was from the London Weekly Advertiser, who offered me a job in their Accounts Department. Oh, well. It was a job. And, as I used to have to record the money coming in for the Personal Ads, it was a bit of an introduction to life's quirkier side...
After a spell as a secretary at I.P.C. in Fleet Street (which also didn't lead anywhere), I was offered a job in the recruitment agency that had given up trying to find me a publishing opportunity. As a secretary, I had always had plenty of free time and had written endless romances: typed on the office typewriter. These were published in picture-story magazines such as Romeo, Marilyn, and Mirabelle, with one story paying more than a week's salary. But it never occurred to me to "give up the day job" and "go for it". If I had … but that's another story. I did well in the world of recruitment and ended up with my own business which I sold to my partner in 2000.
This gave me time for three things:
1. To spend more time with my son, Ben, who was born with a rare syndrome (VATER syndrome) affecting his swallowing, skeleton, eating and growth. As he was later diagnosed with a hearing loss and, later still, autism, his needs were growing as he grew older rather than diminishing.
2. To complete an O.U. degree in English literature, which gave me a lot of confidence. The graduation ceremony when I collected the certificate confirming that I had a B.A.Hons in Literature was confirmation that I could achieve what I set out to do. An achievement which I had envisaged for my son, but...
THE FIRST BOOK
It took me just three months to write Meat Market, a novel that recounts two days in the lives and loves of a London recruitment agency. An obvious choice of subject, easy to write, with an Essex "heroine" and a multiple viewpoint approach – but it took two years to find a publisher (with very limited marketing).
Meat Market is for you if you enjoy office politics or if you've ever wondered about the attraction of toy-boys...
Next book due for publication end September is Bad Girls from History: Wicked or Misunderstood?
"You won't be familiar with every one of the huge array of women featured in these pages, but all, familiar or not, leave unanswered questions behind them. The range is extensive, as was the research, with its insight into the lives and minds of women in different centuries, different countries, with diverse cultures and backgrounds, from the poverty stricken to royalty. Mistresses, murderers, smugglers, pirates, prostitutes and fanatics with hearts and souls that feature every shade of black (and grey!). From Cleopatra to Ruth Ellis, from Boudicca to Bonnie Parker, from Lady Caroline Lamb to Moll Cutpurse, from Jezebel to Ava Gardner.
Less familiar names include Mary Jeffries, the Victorian brothel-keeper, Belle Starr, the American gambler and horse thief, La Voisin, the seventeenth-century Queen of all Witches in France but these are random names, to illustrate the variety of the content in store for all those interested in women who defy law and order, for whatever reason.
The risqué, the adventurous and the outrageous, the downright nasty and the downright desperate all human (female!) life is here. From the lower strata of society to the aristocracy, class is not a common denominator. Wicked? Misunderstood? Nave? Foolish? Predatory? Manipulative? Or just out of their time? Read and decide."
Available for pre-order from publisher (Pen & Sword) or Amazon and hopefully in local bookshops by end of year
Dee Gordon, Southend resident for over thirty years, used to write picture stories for the likes of Romeo, Marilyn, and Mirabelle as a teenager but, when she got a “proper” job – in the recruitment industry – she found that the only way to succeed was to focus on the job and let the writing slide. However, when she sold her recruitment business in 2000, she was able to take the opportunity to write pretty much full time – allowing for the demands of her autistic son, that is.
Before picking up her pen, the first thing she did was to complete her English Literature degree with the Open University, something that she had wanted to achieve to prove she could write more than training manuals and business plans.
So far, her published work encompasses a couple of novels (do check out her latest: My Little Brother, My Little Life, about living with autism in the family) and fourteen local history Books (about Southend, Essex, and the East End of London – where her roots lie
In between, Dee finds time to write poetry, and has tried every style over the last eight years, winning a number of competitions, and with one anthology published.
Dee believes everyone should discover the pleasure of reading including genres they are not familiar with. So many words out there, so little time… for more info about Dee and her books, see www.deegordon-writer.com - and note she also runs a local book reading group for carers (Care To Read) the first Monday afternoon of every month, at The Forum 1.30-3.00.