Welcome to Polly Heron's website.

 

I am a saga writer living on the North Wales coast, but I am originally from Manchester, which is where my books are set.

 

I am delighted to introduce my saga series, The Surplus Girls.

 

I also write as Susanna Bavin.

Latest News:

 

As you know, I've finished writing the third book in the series. My agent read it and suggested a few small edits: she wanted me to make some additions to a couple of scenes as well as writing two new scenes, as a result of which the book now feels stronger.

 

The book has also now been read by my editor at Corvus and she told my agent that she finished it "with tears pricking and a huge grin on my face." I told you a week or two ago that the next step was for her to re-read it and think about any edits she would like me to work on.

 

She has now done that and currently I am working my way through her edits and suggestions.

 

I don't mind telling you I loved writing book 3 and I hope you'll love it too when the time comes.

 

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Some special news for readers in Australia and New Zealand: 

 

The Surplus Girls has been chosen to be a Kindle Special Deal for the month of November. It costs $2.79.

 

Here's the link.

 

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Over on my blog, I have an occasional series called "Where I Wrote. . .", in which I share photos of parts of Llandudno where I wrote certain scenes in my books.

 

This time, I'm looking back to a writing week I had with friends two years ago (was it really that long?!), during which I wrote several chapters of The Surplus Girls' Orphans.

 

Click here to take a look . . .

 

 

 

 

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Why not take a look at a recent blog, which is about the way I link my books together by popping a character from one book into another book. Characters from The Poor Relation and The Sewing Room Girl feature in The Surplus Girls . . . as does a character who started life in another book but then got edited out.

 

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You may recall a blog I wrote about novels that incorporate such a wonderful sense of place that they make you feel as if you have been transported to that geographical setting. I then wrote a companion piece about an historical novel that had a similar effect, but instead of a geographical place, it transported the reader back in time through the author's skilful use of historical detail - and by 'skilful', part of what I mean is that the detail is added to the story in a completely natural way. This book was A Borrowed Past by Juliette Lawson.

 

My latest blog is about another historical novel - The Gunpowder Girl by Tania Crosse. Do pop over and take a look.

 

 

W

Who were the Surplus Girls? 
 

The Great War wiped out a generation of young men and left behind a generation of young women who faced a life without the probability of marriage, at a time when any girl left on the shelf rapidly became an old maid and no working woman could hope to earn what could be earned by a man, even by a man doing the same job. These were the ‘surplus girls’ – young women who had grown up assuming they would get married, but whose dreams and assumptions were dashed by the War; young women who, unexpectedly and without preparation, faced a lifetime of work and spinsterhood.

 

What inspired the story behind The Surplus Girls?

When my dad was a boy, his mother used to take him every Saturday morning to visit his great-aunts, who were spinsters and who all lived together. From hearing about them when I was a child, I know he adored them. Strictly speaking, they weren’t surplus girls because they were a bit too old for that, but I was always fascinated by the thought of these sisters living together and supporting one another without the benefit of the kind of money a man could earn.