Saturday, 14 April 2012

#AtoZChallenge - BLOGGERS WERE CHILDREN TOO! - M is for Martin (Paula Martin)


Regular followers and visitors to this site will know I'm using BLOGGERS WERE CHILDREN TOO! for my theme this year. I hope you're enjoying reading about bloggers, some you know and some you may not yet know, as they respond to some prompts I sent out. I've been so grateful for their responses as it helped me to get to know them better, admire their stunning cuteness as babes, and delighted me with random facts.

Thank you Adult Bloggers for your heartfelt responses. Thank you readers for visiting my posts. I hope you'll leave a comment and if you'd like to follow the link to my respondents' blogs they'd be delighted to meet you.

Rock on A- Z Challenge. (Visit more posts here).

Yesterday was  L'Aussie...


M is for Martin (Paula Martin)

Paula at 4 years old.

I was born in the town of Preston in North West England, and lived there until I was eighteen. As I was born during World War 2, my father was in the armed forces, and my mother lived with her parents, so my first home was my grandparents’ house.

Just before the war ended, I was admitted to hospital for an operation on a congenitally-dislocated hip, and spent the next 15 months of my life at Liverpool Children’s Hospital in Cheshire.

A couple of months after my 3rd birthday, I came out of hospital to the house my parents had bought. The front part of this Victorian house was a shop where my mother sold knitting and sewing items.

When I was eleven, the shop was sold, and we moved to a small house a couple of miles away, which was where I spend my teenage years, until I went to University when I was eighteen.

It’s difficult to say which was my favourite home, as both the shop and the later house have a lot of different memories attached to them.

My best childhood memory was the first time I went to camp with the Girl Guides. I was eleven and it was my first holiday without my parents. It didn’t matter that it had rained so much we had to spend the first night on the floor of the local church because the camping field was too water-logged to pitch the tents. For me, it was a week of fun and laughter with my friends.

My worst childhood memory was when a car skidded on the road outside our shop and smashed into the front window. Fortunately, no-one was in the shop at the time. I was seven, and we were all in the back room, but I can still hear the almighty smash. I thought the whole house was collapsing and I was so scared. Amazingly, the occupants of the car weren’t badly injured, just a few minor cuts, but it was the most frightening experience I’d ever had.

Paula's long-time current abode near Manchester
Today I live in a small house on the outskirts of the city of Manchester. I’ve been here for 46 years, bringing up my two daughters here, and now living on my own.

More about Paula:

Paula Martin lives near Manchester in North-West England, and has two daughters and two grandsons.
She had some early publishing success with short stories and four novels, but then had a break from writing while she brought up a young family and also pursued her career as a history teacher for twenty-five years. She has recently returned to writing fiction, after retiring from teaching.

Her novel, ‘His Leading Lady’ was published by Whiskey Creek Press in June 2011, and her latest release, ‘Fragrance of Violets’ was published in February 2012.  She has two more contemporary romances awaiting release, and is working on another.

Apart from writing, she enjoys travelling and loves the English Lake District and Ireland. She has also travelled extensively in Britain, mainland Europe, the Middle East, USA and Canada and loves visiting new places. Her other interests include musical theatre and researching her family history.

Here are some links to catch up with Paula:

 I really enjoyed how freely Paula shared with us all. On  Monday it's Nancy Williams' time to acquaint us with her early life. I hope you'll revisit to read about Nancy's childhood. Many know Nancy is suffering from ill health. I hope you'll visit and cheer her up!


  1. Oh wow, your fav childhood memory triggered memories of my own. I used to love going camping with the girl guides!

  2. Thanks so much for featuring me, Denise - just wish I'd had more photos to send to you.

  3. Hi Lynda - I loved Girl Guide camps when I was a teenager. Later I became a Girl Guide leader, but by then all the 'rules and regulations' had been tightened up so much, it wasn't quite as much fun somehow - or maybe it was because I then had much more responsibility for all the girls!

  4. First holiday without the parents is always fun! :D

  5. Hi,

    Another cutey blonde on the block! Lovely write-up.

    I didn't do guides, did St John Ambulance instead. Our first camp was in Dorset on the cliff top. We experienced a thunder and lightening overnight storm. All the boys tents were blown away, because they'd spent too much time erecting ours (girls).

    One had to do something when we were kids and piano lessons did my head in, ballet was just not me, but I did like singing and took lessons for classical (opera), but a serious throat strain b*ggered that idea. ;)

  6. Paula,
    History and teaching are a winning combination! I know from experience. I loved your story.

  7. Oh, yay for Paula! I love that childhood photo! It's so interesting to hear the childhood stories of blogging friends.

  8. Thank you all!
    Kyra - I still remember so much about that first 'parent-less' holiday, almost as if it was yesterday!

    Many thanks, Charmaine.

    Hi Francine, I did piano lessons and also had - hmm - elocution lessons, neither of which did me much good!

    Zan - History was always my favourite subject, and still is, even though I now write contemporary romances.

    Talli - I look a little sweetie, don't I? Even with the baggy-topped socks! I can actually remember smoothing out my little kilt on either side of me for this photo (and several others which were taken at the same time).

  9. Nice to meet you Paula! What a terrifying childhood memory - so glad no one was hurt. Great photos!

  10. I don't know Paula. Thank you for the introduction. I'll go check out her blog. Have a great weekend!

  11. The mother of a dear friend in Liverpool had a similar wartime, early childhood. What with life being so much in the fast lanes these days, many sometimes forget how much the people of Britain endured during that stressful time. They are truly a determined people who inspire.

    I was happy Paula recovered from her hip operation and went on to enjoy a successful, very happy life, save for the car going into the shop window. That was horrible. Thanks for this intro to Paula; I'm going to check out her books.

  12. Hi Jenni, Clarissa and Kittie - happy to meet you all here!

  13. great guest post as I've been following her all along through the challenge!

  14. Hi Sandra - thanks for popping in, and also for following my A-Z blogs.

  15. Paula--it was wonderful to get to know a bit more about you. That car crash is something I'm sure you'll never forget!! I love the childhood photo of you--you were such a doll!! And your home of 46 years is beautiful!!

    Cheers, Jenn.

  16. It was great getting to know more about you, Paula. The Girl Guides, huh. It was the Cub and Boy Scouts for me. May your publishing dreams come true, Roland

  17. Thanks for visiting, Jenn - and yes, I still remember every detail about that car crashing through the shop window.
    I was quite cute as a kid, wasn't I (even though I say it myself!).
    My present home is very modest by American standards, but it's a very typical suburban house here.

  18. Roland - thanks for visiting. My publishing dreams are indeed coming true. It's a bit like second time around - and I still have dreams of getting back to the Mills and Boon/Harlequin days of my youth when they published my early novels. It seemed so easy back in the 60's, but the publishing world has changed rather a lot since then.

  19. That was a long time for child to spend in the hospital.

  20. It's been great reading your responses to Paula's post. Wasn't she a cutie? That car crashing into the shop must have been quite the trauma to recover from.

    Thanks for coming by Paula and responding to commenters.


  21. What a great theme! It's so interesting. Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog. :)

  22. Hi Christina. It was a pleasure. Thanks for following here too. D. I think I already follow you.

  23. great to learn some more things about paula... what a cutie (both ages!).. and her home is lovely... :D

  24. Hi Denise and Paula - good to read about another English lady .. I'm glad they fixed the hip ...

    We used to holiday in the Lake District until I was 9 or 11 .. but I'm not that good in the north-west area .. when I do drive through it's got lots going for it.

    Delighted that you now have time to write and can use your teaching skills in this direction ..

    Not sure I like the idea of the crash though ...

    Fun to see and read - thanks Hilary

  25. Once again, a fascinating interview. And once again we have something in common. My mother used to have a wool shop in Hyde!

  26. Again, many thanks for all your comments!

    Alex - I was a 'guinea-pig' for a new method of treating a dislocated hip, so I was in plaster from ankle to shoulder for 12 months! I have no recollection of being in hospital though.

    J.C. and Danne - thanks, but I think I looked much cuter at 4 than I do now.

    Hilary - they fixed my hip as a child, but by the time I was in my 30's arthritis had set in, and at that time they weren't doing hip replacements for 'young' people and now they say it's gone too far for them to be sure of success, so I just have to put up with it!

    Jenny - the 'coincidences' of our lives continue to mount up, don't they?

  27. Denise, thank you so much for having me on your blog today. I've really enjoyed being here, and loved all the comments.
    Loook forward to seeing more of your guests (especially X!)
    Best wishes, as always!

  28. Hello Paula.
    I always enjoy reading stories or information about England since my wife is English. I hear the Lake District is beautiful...I've never been, but my wife and a friend spent a week in Keswick many years ago. Congratulations on your retirement and good luck with your writing.

    Thanks Denise for another great guest post.

  29. I hopped over here from the A-Z challenge. How are ya' goin'? Love your blog and your I'm an Aussie wannabe. ;)
    I live in the U.S. but am working on a manuscript with an Aussie father and son. :) My guys are from Perth and Alice Springs. Great to 'meet' you!

  30. I haven't know Paula Martin very long. Good to know more about her. These childhood pictures just get more and more adorable!

    Glad to hear about someone getting published later in life.

  31. Lovely post. It's nice knowing about people I may not necessarily have known about previously, like Paula.

    Denise, I've just sent you an email. Please confirm receipt if you did get it. Have a lovely Sunday

  32. Lovely to meet you, Paula!
    I hadn't heard of Preston until two days ago, if you'd believe it! I was looking up how to get to Hurst Green, since I just found out that Tolkien used to visit there with his family, and my husband and I are hoping to explore the area on our trip to the UK :-)

  33. Lovely reading about you Paula! And you brought back childhood memories for me!

    *Waving* to Denise!

  34. I'm SO glad you highlighted Paula, Sis. I like her very much! And I'm really glad to learn more about her.
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

  35. Denise, thanks for featuring Paula, another of my favorite writers.

    It is frightening how much of a car can come into a chop or a home and still have everyone be alright. One of my exes experienced that, car right into the living room. Scary!

    You were absolutely adorable at four, and I enjoyed reading this very much.

  36. Just popped back - sorry I missed the later comments, but many thanks to you all!

    Must admit I'm intrigued by Deniz's comment about the link between Tolkien and Hurst Green!

  37. I recently 'met' Paula via the Internet, and it was great to learn more about this supportive author.

    Lovely post.


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