It gives me great pleasure to welcome author, Madalyn Morgan, to ‘Patricia’s Pen’. Madalyn has come along to talk about her writing and in particular ‘The Dudley Sisters.’ Without further ado, let’s go over to Madalyn.
The Dudley Sisters
Several things happened while I was doing a creative writing course with the Writers Bureau in Manchester. I have always been fascinated by the achievements of women in the Twentieth Century – especially in WW1 and WW2. My mother used to tell me about her life in the second world war; the work she did, the dances she went to, and the many letters she wrote to servicemen overseas. (She had a Polish penfriend called Vanda, which is my middle name.) My mum had a fascinating life, so when it came to the biography module, I wrote about her. My tutor liked the work but said, as mum and I were both unknown, I should turn it into a fiction.
At the same time, mum wanted to give back a brass aeroplane; a Wellington Bomber that had been made for her by a Polish airman in 1940. He had died, but I found his son who was delighted with the plane. It was then that I decided to set my novels in WW2. I had too many ideas for one book, so I plotted four. Four sisters, four wartime careers and four loves became The Dudley Sisters’ Saga. I still have my mum’s biography. One day I will turn it into fiction.
In Foxden Acres we meet all the Dudley sisters. As the first novel in the saga, it is predominantly Bess’s story. Bess is the oldest daughter of the Foxden Estate’s head groom. A scholarship girl, she becomes a teacher in London. When war breaks out and the schoolchildren are evacuated, Bess returns to Foxden and, with a troop of Land Girls, turns the Foxden Estate into arable land.
Traditional barriers come crashing down when Flying Officer James Foxden, heir to the Foxden Estate, and Bess fall in love. Bess’s story is one of friendships and loyalty, of strength, love and loss, and learning to love again.
Applause is Margot, the second Dudley sisters’ story. Margot marries her childhood sweetheart and moves to London. She is fiercely ambitious and works her way from being an usherette in a West End theatre to being the leading lady of the show. However, she becomes caught up in a web of deceit, black-market racketeers, Nazis, drugs and alcohol.
Book three, China Blue, is Claire Dudley’s story. Claire joins the WAAF. She excels in languages and is recruited by the Special Operations Executive to work in German-occupied France. While working with the French Resistance, Claire falls in love. The affair has to be kept secret. When her lover is captured by the SS Claire uses her training to find him.
Ena Dudley, the youngest sister, works in an engineering factory making small dials and disks. When Coventry is bombed, she has to take this vital equipment to Bletchley Park. Travelling on the 9:45 To Bletchley train Ena is drugged and robbed. She is accused of being involved in sabotage and while trying to clear her name discovers the thief is a spy. With the help of military intelligence, Ena traps the spy and falls in love.
The first four books are set during WW2, I tried to vary the genres – land army, show business, SOE agent and spy thriller.
Book five, Foxden Hotel, is a murder mystery and stand-alone sequel to Foxden Acres that brings the sisters together again. The book opens during the New Year’s Eve party of 1948 when Bess is threatened by someone from her and Margot’s past.
Chasing Ghosts, a stand-alone sequel to China Blue, is a psychological thriller. In 1949, after having treatment for shell-shock in Canada, Claire’s husband is accused of treason. He goes missing and Claire travels to Canada and France to find him and prove his innocence – and to expose the real traitor.
There Is No Going Home – a spy thriller set in 1958 England and 1936 Berlin. Ena sees a spy whose funeral she attended ten years before, but no one believes her. While investigating the woman, Ena’s colleague and a friend at MI5 are murdered. Ena doesn’t know who she can trust. Threats and car accidents only make her more determined to find the truth
I am halfway through writing my eighth novel. Framed – a sequel to There Is No Going Home – is a murder mystery and cold war spy thriller. Ena’s assignment was to expose the mole at M15, but someone got to the mole before her and made sure there would be no investigation, except into Ena’s husband who has been framed for killing the mole.
Thank you, Madalyn. You have written a great collection of books. For anyone that hasn’t read any of Madalyn’s books then I suggest you should as they will have you turning the page. Links to where you can purchase them will be supplied at the end of the blog.
I hope you manage to get your Mother’s bio done, Madalyn, in the near future and good luck with Framed, the new novel. Once again thank you for coming along today.
Let’s find out a little more about Madalyn
About Madalyn Morgan
Madalyn Morgan was bought up in a pub in the market town of Lutterworth. Her dream was to be an actress but her mother wanted her to have a ‘proper’ job so she became a hairdresser. Eight years later, at the age of twenty-four, she gave up a successful hairdressing salon and wig-hire business for a place at Drama College and a career as an actress.
In 2010, after living in London for thirty-six years, she moved back to Lutterworth, swapping two window boxes and a mortgage for a garden and the freedom to write. She is currently writing her eighth novel, as well as a collection of short stories, articles, poems, photographs and character breakdowns, written when she was acting. She is a member of the RNA, Society of Authors and Equity.
You can find Madalyn Morgan on the following links.
You can purchase Madalyn Morgan’s books on Amazon in all formats on the following links.