Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pauline Holyoak

I am very happy to welcome to the blog the fantastic writer Pauline Holyoak. Welcome, Pauline.

 About Pauline - I grew in Southeast England, in a coal mining village my husband calls, “The place that time forgot.” Look at my article, below to find out why. I immigrated to Canada, in search of adventure and a new life, when I was twenty one. I now live in Alberta (Western Canada) with my sports crazy husband, adorable sheltie dog and cantankerous ginger cat. I am the proud mother of two grown children and one adorable grandchild.

About my trilogy - Merryweather Lodge, was inspired by my own experiences in a remote and mysterious little cottage near Stonehenge. This cottage was called Scotland Lodge and belonged to my aunt and uncle. My family spent their summer holidays there when she was a child. It was my fairytale kingdom, with a sinister twist. The memories of my summers at Scotland Lodge stayed with me, as a sort of nagging unsolved mystery all of my life. A few years ago I revisited my childhood wonderland and was lead to concocting this story and writing this trilogy. This wonderland and my childhood fantasies were the catalyst for my writing career and the inspiration for my trilogy.

The first book in this trilogy, Merryweather Lodge – Ancient Revenge, was the Readers Favorite 2011 Silver Award Winner for paranormal fiction. Book two, Merryweather Lodge – Malevolent Spirit, was an award finalist. The release date for book three is July 1st. I have also written two children’s books and had twenty five articles published.

A Tribute to the Mining Village where I grew up. The place I will always call home.

Aylesham - A Lady in Her Own Standing
Nestled between the notorious city of Canterbury and the medieval town of Dover you will find her, growing rapidly in population, yet retaining her mining roots. Looked down on by some, dismissed by many, she shrugs off the loftiness and prestige of those around her. The place of my childhood, Aylesham Village, lovingly nicknamed Sunshine Corner. My husband calls her, “The place that time forgot.”
Established in 1926 as a mining community, Aylesham attracted and embraced miners from all over the British Isles. Some came out of necessity, desperately seeking work. Others were rejected by their own pits and labeled militants. They all came seeking a new life and prosperity, with their pockets empty but their hearts filled with determination. The diversity and uniqueness of her original settlers have molded and shaped the character of Aylesham and made her what she is today.
I left the village when I was 21 years old and immigrated to Canada. I went in search of adventure and a new life. That vast and majestic country has housed my form, nurtured my soul, provided me with a career and a wonderful family, but England will always been home. Now as I’m growing older, I tend to reminisce more often; the memories of my childhood entertain my thoughts frequently and fill me with nostalgia.  I remember vividly the profusion and delicate fragrance of the wild roses scattered throughout the village. The leisurely walks through the wooded Spinney Lane in the spring, with her carpet of primroses and later, in a mist of bluebells. The regimented cuisine of fish on Fridays, salad on Saturdays and the ever-reliable Sunday dinner. I recall the congregations of women, standing outside the shops adorned with colorful aprons and metal curlers, exchanging the local gossip, as they rocked their big-wheeled prams back and forth. Packs of mischievous dogs roaming and littering the streets, unsupervised and uncared-for; a mixed breed of canines, coming and going as they pleased. Rows and rows of clothes lines with their fresh white linen blowing in the breeze, generally on Mondays. The Welfare Grounds, where we watched our dad play football on a Saturday afternoon. Its primitive play equipment and all its nooks and crannies where lovers stole forbidden, romantic moments, was an adventure land for us kids. The unforgettable, annual, seaside trips, sponsored by the working mans club. Like a regiment of soldiers, laden with goods, we would march to the station, fill the train to capacity and leave the village abandoned. We would make sand castles on the beach; wade in the sea and anticipating the thrill of the fun fair and the taste of candy floss at the end of the day. Oh, what simplicity! Oh, what joy! As a child, Aylesham was my haven, my place in the world.
The people of Aylesham are unique in many ways; they have a distinct accent and vocabulary of their own. They have a strong sense of humor, love for the absurd and a habit of poking fun at what they love without meaning disrespect. Most of the people that live there are descendants of the original settlers and are quite familiar with each others history. They show a genuine but inquisitive concern for their neighbors which might be considered intrusive by some. There is an invisible bond that binds them together. Strangers are cautiously welcomed. Although these Aylesham people may appear to be a tad unsophisticated at times, they are the cheeriest, kindest, friendliest and most caring breed of folk you could ever wish to meet.
The negative stigma that has attached itself to the village has always puzzled me. Although she does have her share of illicit and unscrupulous characters, the same can be said of any other town of her size. I have always believed that her reputation is unjust. Those that would harshly judge her have not lived among her people and felt the comradery of such a close-knit community. Although her amenities are limited, she is slowly coming to terms with contemporary life; just at a more leisurely pace than some. She has weathered the storms of nature’s wrath, tragedies, mining strikes and the closure of her life’s blood, Snowdown Colliery, but still manages to retain the essence of her mining roots. She has absorbed the verbal abuse and discrimination from those around her with dignity. She has nursed, nurtured and sustained her own. She is indeed a Lady in Her Own Standing and I am proud to call her home!

Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Margaret.
My books are available in print or eBook format at  or Book three of my trilogy will be released on July 1st.

Please come visit me at   read about my fascinating life and view my videos.


Pauline Holyoak said...

Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Margaret.

laurie bittenbyparanormalromance said...

Awesome series! I can't wait for the next book.

margaret blake said...

You're very welcome, Pauline.

Beth Elliott said...

Your childhood memories have stayed vividly with you, Pauline. Writing the three stories has been a journey of remembrance and discovery. Your covers are very evocative as well. Congratulations on the success of the first two. I hope the third book does well also.

Anonymous said...

Thank You Pauline What a great description of our Village You have captured it just right Aylesham Community Photos.

Roxe Anne Peacock said...

Pauline is a wonderful author. I especially enjoyed, Malevolent Spirit and can't wait for the third book in July.

Pauline Holyoak said...

Thank you all. I appreciate your comments.

jrlindermuth said...

A lovely description of your homeplace, Pauline. Coming from coal country myself, I can understand your affection for the place. Best of luck with your writing.

margaret blake said...

The sad irony is my husband was working in the area and used to go out with the Miners in the evening.
John has died as has Pauline's dad so we have no idea if they met.

Pauline Holyoak said...

Margaret, I'm sure John and my dad have met by now, in that coal miners community, in heaven. Thank you again, Margaret.

margaret blake said...

Yes I hope so, Pauline. There's bound to be good craic too.

Nice to have your visit.