AUTHOR Pam Weaver has written more than 150 articles and 136 short stories. Her phenomenally successful novels – Better Days Will Come (2012) and Pack Up Your Troubles (2013) – are set in Worthing during the Austerity years. Her latest saga, For Better For Worse, will be published later this year.
In no more than 10 words what are the best things about Worthing?
The people, the location, and the shops.
How did you come to live in Worthing and why does it inspire you?
I met and married my husband, who was born and brought up in Goring. Worthing inspires me because it has satellite villages – Broadwater, Goring, Durrington etc. – which have been swallowed up by its urban sprawl.
Villages and village life make excellent backgrounds for sagas.
How did you first get published?
I was asked to have a go at writing a children’s short story by the editor of a small print newspaper. It was 500 words and not very good – in fact, terrible! – but they published it and paid me £3. From that moment, I was hooked.
What do you think is the best thing about being a writer?
Everything. It’s an absolute joy to me. When my husband was seriously ill with cancer – thankfully, he’s now full recovered – I discovered that even when your world is falling apart around you, even if it’s only for a short while, you can still get lost in a story.
Having achieved so much, what do you consider to be your single greatest achievement?
Giving my children a happy childhood. We didn’t have much money but, oh, we had fun!
Can you name a book that changed your life?
The Bible. I’ve been reading it for decades and still find treasures and surprises.
What are you reading at the moment?
Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay. Gripping stuff!
When you write do you consider your readers? How do you hope that your books will affect or influence them?
Absolutely. Sagas are about family life but I also like to give my readers a little intrigue and mystery.
I don’t always give them the Hollywood ending, but somehow my heroines get through. I hope they inspire my readers to keep going, even in the dark days.
Have you achieved everything you hoped you would? What are you ambitions for the future?
I don’t think I ever had a clear idea of what I wanted to do, except to write.
This has been a fantastic journey and I’m loving every minute. I am amazed that so many people enjoy what I’ve written, but I still have ambition. I’d love to see more of my books on the shelf and, one day, I’d like to write the book everybody talks about.
Worthing features heavily in a number of your books – almost as if it were a character in itself. If you could change one thing about Worthing, what would it be?
I wish Worthing had kept more of its old houses. It seems such a shame that there wasn’t more forward thinking. Just think what a wonderful tourist attraction the house where Oscar Wilde wrote The Importance of Being Ernest would be if it still stood. Sadly, like so many others, it was pulled down.
This year sees the launch of a literary festival in your home town – the World of Words festival. What’s your favourite word or words?