New book brings back memories for Shirley

Carrick writer Shirley Gault. INCT 17-483-RM
Carrick writer Shirley Gault. INCT 17-483-RM

Northern Ireland and Scotland provide the backdrop to a new collection of writings from a Carrickfergus author.

Shirley Gault’ revisits the 50s and 60s in ‘Another Time, Another Place & Other Short Stories’.

The volume also includes a short autobiography, ‘The Warder’s Daughter.

Pointing to importance of research in developing her latest ideas, Shirley took a trip to Scotland. She was also happy to receive input from publisher, David James Publishing, in the process.

“I have had rough drafts for two of the stories done for a few years and had originally thought they would have been two novels, but both Another Time Another Place and The Warder’s Daughter turned out to be novellas,” Shirley told the Times.

“To try and stretch them into novels by adding to the word counts would not have enhanced the story lines. The publisher came up with the idea of a book of short stories.

“The Warder’s Daughter gave me a lot of pleasure writing it as it brought back a lot of memories and was set in 50s - 60s Belfast.

“Going to Scotland to verify aspects of Another Time Another Place was also very rewarding.”

The author of a number of books, Shirley revealed that having ‘critics’ close to hand also helped.

“The challenges were few as I had went over the story lines with some family and they gave their honest opinions; they were mainly getting the storylines and word counts correct without losing the plots.”

After concentrating on prose on this occasion, Shirley is returning to her first love, verse, for the next compilation.

“At the moment I am writing poetry, my favourite genre, in the hope of having a third volume published.”

Previous anthologies by Shirley, who ran the well-known Gaults of Woodburn store, were ‘Reflections’ and ‘Reflections Two’.

She also offered words of help and encouragement to others on a literary journey.

“My advice to aspiring writers: write within your knowledge and for your own pleasure, getting published will be a bonus. Trying to get published can be very frustrating but keep trying.

“Always, when writing a novel or short stories, research. It’s surprising how much can be learnt.”

‘Another Time, Another Place’, by Shirley Gault, is available on Amazon and at Carrickfergus Museum and Civic Centre shop, Antrim Street.