Deirdre Palmer has travelled all the way from the south coast to be with me in Yorkshire, and today’s a landmark day for me because Deirdre is the first person called Deirdre I’ve ever actually met. (Although actually, to be honest, even now we’re only meeting virtually :) ) When I was a child I thought with longing of being called Deirdre. Nowadays people in the UK probably equate the name with Deirdre Barlow from Corrie, but Deirdre is actually a beautiful Irish name from the romantic legend of Deirdre of the Sorrows. (If you’re interested, you can find out more about the legend in a website helpfully called All About Deirdre.)
Welcome to Yorkshire, Deirdre of the beautiful name!
Where do you live, Deirdre? I live in the south coast city of Brighton, East Sussex. I always have done, but I’ve no complaints there. It’s a brilliant place to live, bags of atmosphere, right by the sea but with lovely countryside around, and always something ‘interesting’ going on. It can all get a bit crazy at times, though!
I’ve only visited once or twice, but I’ve always imagined it’s a great place to live.
Where is your favourite place in the world? I’m going to sound even more unadventurous now but I have to say Sussex. I suppose it’s the emotional connection of having lived here all my life, and having my family roots in the county. The scenery of the South Downs and the pretty villages that lie at their foot is hard to beat, I think.
A lovely English county!
Being a writer is a great job. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? Working in Lyons’ restaurant in Brighton. It was just for the summer, between school and college, but I couldn’t wait to leave. I was stuck in a gloomy corner of the kitchen all day, making up endless salads, and my hands got sore washing the lettuce and peeling hundreds of hard-boiled eggs. I don’t think I saw out the six weeks, it was so depressing.
That does sound terrible. Enough to put you off salad for life!
What book do you wish you’d written? Can I have two? Firstly, ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ by Deborah Moggach, because it’s so brilliantly funny (and think of the film rights!). Secondly, ‘In the Springtime of the Year’ by Susan Hill. The language is so beautiful it’s almost poetic.
I haven’t read the Deborah Moggach book, although I’ve seen the film. I’ll put it on my list!
What’s your favourite song? Always look on the bright side of life – Monty Python. I shall have it played at my funeral.
If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you say to them? The Dalai Lama. I’d ask him where I’ve been going wrong. Come to think of it, Simon Cowell might do just as well…
What’s your happiest childhood memory? Playing outside. We roller-skated, rode scooters and bikes, skipped, played ball games, and made ‘camps’. ‘Playing out’ with friends was an important part of my life as I didn’t have brothers or sisters. We went where we liked and nobody worried. In summer we stayed out until it was dark. Children now won’t have those kinds of memories, which is sad, I think.
Oh, I remember all that, too! My brother and I ran away from home on numerous occasions. No one ever noticed. Happy days!
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you? Always keep an open mind and never assume anything.
Very wise words.
My latest book, Dirty Weekend, is a romantic comedy with a dark side. It’s set in 1966 and the main characters are four eighteen-year-olds. It will be published by Crooked Cat in late July/early August.
Remarkable Things was my first traditionally-published book, after a long spell in the NWS (Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme). It was released in May this year by Crooked Cat.
You can find Remarkable Things on Amazon
And you can find out more about me and my writing here:
I love the sixties feel to your cover, Deirdre. Thanks so much for coming all the way up north, and best of luck with your new release!
If you’ve enjoyed Deirdre’s interview, or have any questions or comments at all, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!