Our writers

    Find out more about the writers who have contributed to the autumn edition of Vintage Script, and what inspired their stories and articles.


    Bernie Deehan
    Blue Hat For A Blue Day
    Bernie, who lives in London, says, ‘I was inspired to write Blue Hat For A Blue Day after watching the BBC documentary Smokey Dives. It was about the trad jazz scene in 1950s Soho and was full of fascinating details. It also featured the late George Melly, who sang in many of the bands and had a great store of juicy anecdotes’. Bernie’s short stories have previously been published/performed in .Cent magazine and at Liars’ League, a fiction event where actors read short stories. You can find out more about Bernie’s work on his website http://berniedeehan.wordpress.com and find him on Twitter @BernieDeehan.

    Kirsty Ferry
    Tales From The Crypt
    Kirsty says, ‘
    I found the idea of Soane’s obsession with death hugely inspirational in a very dark way. The image of the “crypt” bathed in candlelight was a perfect Gothic moment, and ideal for Hallowe’en—that time when the veil lifts between both our worlds, just little bit’. Kirsty won the Belsay Hall/English Heritage National Creative Writing Competition in 2009 and has had stories and articles published in Ghost Voices magazine, The People’s Friend and The Weekly News, and several anthologies. Kirsty’s novels The Memory of Snow and Refuge, her short story collection Turn on a Sixpence and her non-fiction book History and Mystery, Northern Hauntings Explored are all available from Amazon. Kirsty lives in Blaydon-on-Tyne near Newcastle. Find out more at www.rosethornpress.co.uk.

    Nick Brazil
    The Robin
    Nick explains, ‘The Robin was inspired by an incident that occurred in the Oxfordshire village of Whitchurch-on-Thames where I live. The Myrtle Cottage that features in the story was home to D.H. Lawrence and his wife Frieda for a few months during 1919. It happens to be situated almost opposite my house. This only came to light when a letter he wrote from that address to his friend Herbert Farjeon came up for auction. When I learned about the story from my neighbours who lived there, I felt it would make a good short story’. Nick has had three books published: A Journey With Ghosts, Cheating Death and Billy Biscuit—The Colourful Life and Times of Sir William Curtis Bart MP. As co-author he has just completed A Puzzle in Time, a romantic thriller set in the modern day and the English Civil War period, to be published under the nom de plume Jane Nicholls. He is also a photographer and film maker. Find out more about Nick’s work at www.brazilproductions.co.uk.

    Gill Garrett
    Digging Up The Family: The 1918 Influenza Pandemic
    Before retiring Gill Garrett lectured and wrote academic textbooks. She has had both poetry and short stories (some, like this article, based on her own family history) published in various journals, and two of her plays have recently been broadcast on Corinium Radio. Gill was this year’s winner in the poetry competition at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, and is a member of the Somewhere Else writing group in Cirencester. You can read her blog at gillgarrett.blogspot.com.

    E. A. M. Harris
    Point Of Contact
    E. A. M. Harris’ story is inspired by the work of
    Ann Radcliffe, an originator of the Gothic novel. She says, ‘Ann Radcliffe interested me partly because so little is known about her, and partly because, although she voluntarily “went public”, she found the resultant fame difficult to deal with and eventually gave up publishing (and, probably, writing though this is not known)’. Several of the writer’s poems and stories have appeared in print and online magazines, including Anon, Inside Out and Message in a Bottle. Point of Contact is the first historical story she has written. She lives in Somerset. You can read her blog at http://eamharris.com and follow her on Twitter @Eah1E.

    Cathy Mason
    Cathy says, ‘Alfie was inspired by research into my father’s family history which was rooted in the carpet industry of Kidderminster. I came across the history of the strikes which go right back to 1789 and began to wonder whether my relations had been part of the strikers; I also knew the belligerence of the Midland people and their candid defiance. It seemed to me that it was the early part of the trade union movement and that was of interest’. Cathy took up writing after embarking on Open University creative writing courses, and has a keen interest in poetry,
    mainly around themes of memory and the past. She lives in Slough.

    Michael Montagu
    Autocracy and Democracy: Whitehall in the Political History of the United Kingdom

    Michael, from East Sussex, has enjoyed a varied career in the diplomatic service and the antiques business, and is now a freelance writer, mainly about antiques and “interesting” characters. His book of memoirs Michael Montagu’s Memoirs: Aristocratic Meanderings and Other Stories is available on Amazon. In his article, Michael tells us about history of Whitehall—its buildings, and the people and politics associated with it.

    Jennifer Foster
    Our Day Out
    Jennifer, from Salisbury, says her story was inspired by the guidelines of a competition that she didn’t read properly—‘
    I thought it was an invitation to write about the responses of children to Salisbury Cathedral, when in fact it was to write about a real person buried there from the point of view of a child!’ she says. Jennifer’s short stories have appeared in publications including Mslexia and Scribble, and she has won several competitions for her work.

    Roger Harvey
    The Look Every Woman Wanted
    Poet, novelist
    and screenwriter Roger Harvey, who lives in Newcastle, here documents Christian Dior’s transformation of post-war fashion with his “New Look”, revealed to the world in 1947. Roger’s novels Percy the Pigeon, The Silver Spitfire, A Woman Who Lives by the Sea, River of Dreams and Albatross Bay have been published along with various poetry collections and acting editions of his plays. He wrote and directed the film Guinevere-Jennifer, and his latest book is The Writing Business. Find out more about his work at roger-harvey.co.uk.

    Gemma Bristow
    New Model Army
    Gemma, from Ely, Cambridgeshire, says, ‘By profession I’m a technical writer in the software industry, though my academic background is in history and English. I’m currently revising a young adult novel set in the eighteenth century’. In addition to local interest in Oliver Cromwell, she says, New Model Army was inspired by Antonia Fraser’s book about seventeenth century women and the Civil War, The Weaker Vessel.

    James Downs
    The Pugilist Parson: The Strange Tale of Radford of Lapford
    James, who lives not far from Lapford in Devon, says, ‘My interest in John Radford arose after coming across some intriguing references in local history books. I went to visit and photograph his old church in Lapford, and spent many hours poring over old newspapers to check the veracity of the tales I had read’. James has worked as a rare book librarian and monastic archivist. His articles on church history, Victorian photography and early cinema have been published in journals including The Innes Review, Studies in Photography, Ancient Egypt and The Clan Chattan JournalHis book A Carnal Medium: Fin-de-siècle Essays on the Photographic Nude is published by Callum James Books. Find out more about James at silverscript.weebly.com.

    Shirley Cook
    The Charcoal Burner’s Daughter
    Shirley says that learning about the lives of her ancestors and their occupation of charcoal-burning in Wealden, Sussex, inspired her story. Shirley’s children’s book Krystal Bull Rain Dancer is published by Little Devil Books and is available on Amazon, published under the name Shirley Harber. Shirley also writes poetry and was a runner-up in a recent Mslexia competition. She lives in Denham, Buckinghamshire. Find out more about Shirley’s work at www.shirleyharber.com.