Gainsborough writer returns for a signing session

GAINSBOROUGH born author Margaret Dickinson dropped into WH Smith in Market Place to meet readers eager to buy her new book.

People queued to get their copy of Jenny’s War signed by their favourite author, who always makes an effort to come back to Gainsborough when she can.

Jenny’s War is a tale of a young girl evacuated to Lincolnshire from the East End of London at the outbreak of war.

Like all of Margaret’s novels, the story is a romantic reflection on a period of social history.

Many of her books are set in Lincolnshire, where Margaret still lives.

And regional sagas with strong women as their central character have become her signature.

But with more than 30 novels under her belt, Margaret keeps on writing, often inspired by true life stories and people she meets.

“I grew up in Beckingham until I was about seven but I’ve always come back to Gainsborough to see relatives here. I can just about remember back to the floods of 1947 when I was five,” she said.

From the age of 14, she began to think about getting her work in print, and started to write her first novel at 16 with her first book printed in 1968.

“You don’t just write a book, and it gets published. It’s not that simple, and I’ve got seven novels in the loft, which have never been printed.”

After school, Margaret, went on to Lincoln Technical College, where she trained as a secretary, and spent seven years working in office jobs in Lincoln and Skegness.

“I thought that if I learned to type, it would help me with my writing, and I also really enjoyed working in offices. I also had to be realistic as in the early years of writing, I was earning peanuts.”

Margaret has two children, and married Dennis Muggeson in 1964, and they became grandparents for the second time in August 2010.

She added: “I would just like to thank everyone in Gainsborough for their interest and loyalty. I hope they enjoy the book, and they enjoyed coming to the signing, and all being well I will see everyone again next year.”