WRITING has been part of Marion Sharville’s life since she won a story competition at school.
Her stories and poems are legendary within her own large family, but it was not until she reached her nineties that her work was published.
Picklemouse Pumpkin, the story of a lonely mouse, was self-published by Marion’s son Tim, in time for her 90th birthday.
The Incredible Creatures of the Secret Ark, a novel, and two anthologies followed.
Now 92, Marion, of High Street, Worthing, is writing her sixth book, a collection of poetry and short stories.
She said: “It was great to have my first book published. I was really happy to have something out there for the world to see, and I felt that I have achieved something.
“I am at my happiest when people come up to me and say they have really enjoyed something that I have written, and one man once told me that he could not put my book down. That is the best feeling.
“I started writing when I was at school. I went in for a story-writing competition and it taught me a lesson because I won and the teacher gave me a choice of prizes - a shilling or a box of chocolates.
“Because I thought my mother would make me put the money in my piggy bank I went for the chocolates, but they were all white because they were so old.
“I have been writing ever since and have always loved it, although I had a break from writing while I was in the RAF from 1942 to 1945.”
Marion and her late husband, Pete, had seven children - daughter Jane and sons Christopher, Matthew, Anthony, Paul, Simon and Timothy.
Marion said: “When the children were little, I used to write poems and stories for them, although they were never published because I was so busy.
“In those days, if you sent something off, you had to wait months and months for a no thank you letter. It was very hard to get recognised if you were just a normal person like me but now there is on demand printing, things are very different.
“Having my work published was never a dream of mine. I have spent my life enjoying my family and everything that goes with that. I have written poems for various weddings and the writing has just been part of our family tradition. That’s the important thing.”