Thursday, 24 April 2014
Where did the idea come from for one of my best-selling novels, EAST END ANGEL? During a conversation with a friend about the romantic intrigues and dangers of life in the Blitz, the character of Pearl Jenkins began to form. I saw her clearly - on her wedding day, but the occasion was threatened by the appearance of an old flame who just wouldn't let go! My setting for the Rivers novels is the Isle of Dogs in London’s East End, widely known as Docklands. The island, a horseshoe-shaped piece of land surrounded on 3 sides by the river Thames, was ear-marked by the Luftwaffe and bombed, almost flattened in World War ll. My dad survived service in the navy and was decorated at Buckingham Palace by the King. My grandfather returned from the trench warfare of World War l whilst my parents house was blown apart by a doodlebug. East Enders were a rare breed in a strangely liberated world. So it's no wonder that I like to write about a new kind of resourceful heroine, battling for equality and independence. EAST END ANGEL is the story of Pearl Jenkins, who beat the Blitz but had a far more dangerous adversary to contend with - and some!