A teaching assistant at a Morecambe school has just had her first novel published.
Rachel Evans, who works with year 5 pupils at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Morecambe, spent two years writing her book, working at weekends and nights after work to finish it.
Rachel first started writing in primary school and said ‘she always liked it.”
She said: “I had articles in the school newspaper and I went to do a French and English degree in Liverpool.
“I then did an MA in French at Lancaster University. The Sunday Express ran a competition for people to write about the Christmas Truce in World War One, and I came runner-up in that. That is what inspired me to start writing my book.”The book ‘Roses in Marrakech’ follows a 36-year-old primary school teacher, Ivy Fielding, who suffers from a lack of self esteem due to a facial birthmark.
Her great-aunt Rose has just died, leaving her a bequest as well as her Lavenham cottage to Ivy and her mother.
Ivy discovers tragedies in her family’s past while reading her late great-aunt’s diary and this inspires her to fulfil a childhood dream and she jets off to Marrakech for the summer holidays.
The book is set against the backdrop of wartime suffolk and the present day spice-scented souks of Morocco.
Rachel based her book on the story of her two great aunts, who died in 1927 and 1929.
She said: “I moved it on a few years and fictionalised it. There are two interweaving stories in the past and the present and I had to get all that right. It took a lot of work to get the chapters right and I ended up writing 130,00 words. It took another year to edit the book before a synopsis and three chapters could be sent to a publisher. I dedicated my book to Violet and Ivy, my two great-aunts. I took my book to school to show it to the children and they think it is fantastic.”
Rachel, who suffers from cerebral palsy, is now planning a second novel based in Blackpool during World War Two and present day Poland.
She said: “Seeing my book in the shop was amazing and people are reading it on Kindle as well . It’s.something I created in my bedroom and suddenpeople are reading it.”
Roses of Marrakech is for sale in Waterstones in Lancaster and is classed as a ‘good summer read’ It can also be purchased on Amazon Kindle.
The book can also be ordered online at a price of £7.99 plus £2.95 post and packing from www.bookguild.co.uk.