Margaret Dickinson’s first novel was published by Robert Hale in 1968. Seven others followed between 1969 and 1984. In 1991, Margaret found a wonderful literary agent, Darley Anderson, who advised her to write a regional saga with a strong woman as the central character.
In 1994 Pan Macmillan published Plough the Furrow, the first in the Fleethaven Trilogy. Sow the Seed and Reap the Harvest followed in 1995 and 1996. Margaret had found her niche; writing romantic fiction and bringing to life her love of the sea, the Lincolnshire landscape and its people. Church Farm Museum at Skegness was the model for Brumbys’ Farm and the setting was Gibraltar Point.
In 1997 The Miller’s Daughter, inspired by the windmill at Burgh-le-Marsh, near Skegness, was published and in the following year Chaff Upon the Wind took the Manor House at Alford as the setting. Grimsby was the inspiration for The Fisher Lass, 1999, described by the publishers as ‘A love story as powerful and restless as the mighty North Sea’. Spalding and district was the background for The Tulip Girl, 2000, and The River Folk, 2001, was inspired by Margaret’s birthplace, Gainsborough.
Tangled Threads, set in the Nottinghamshire framework knitting and lace industries in the early 1900s, was published in 2002 and the following year Twisted Strands followed the lives of the same characters affected by the Great War. Margaret’s novel for 2004, Red Sky in the Morning, evoked the era of the Second World War and its aftermath.
The Workhouse Museum at Southwell in Nottinghamshire was the inspiration for Without Sin, 2005. Pauper’s Gold, 2006, is an emotional story of love and survival, set in a Derbyshire cotton mill and the silk town of Macclesfield. In the 1850s life was harsh for the pauper apprentices, children taken from workhouses and bound to their masters for years. And, with the onset of the American civil war, a cotton famine caused greater hardship in the mills of England.
Wish Me Luck, 2007, is set on a Lincolnshire bomber station in the Second World War. The shout line on the book cover says it all: Love and Laughter, Tears and Courage in a Time of War. Sing As We Go, 2008, too had a World War II background. The heroine, after personal tragedy and heartache, joins a concert party to entertain troops, hospital patients and war workers.
In Suffragette Girl, 2009, the story travels from Lincolnshire to London, the trenches of the Great War and then to Davos in Switzerland, but Sons and Daughters 2010, is set solely in Lincolnshire on the flat marshes near the coast.
To celebrate the Millennium, Margaret was invited by Skegness Playgoers to write a community play. Embracing Tides, featuring the life of a fictional family throughout the twentieth century in Skegness, was staged at the Embassy Theatre in November and December 2000. It was also the Playgoers’ entry for that year’s Play Festival. The production won five of the…