Dear Reader: a letter from Margaret Dickinson
04 June 2014
By Pan Macmillan
From an early age I dreamed of becoming a writer and between 1968 and 1984 I had eight novels published in hardback by Robert Hale. Then followed seven years in which I was unable to write because of very heavy family commitments. By 1991 life was a little easier and I was able to start writing again. My greatest ambition was to be published in paperback. I was very lucky in finding the literary agent Darley Anderson, who advised me to write a regional saga. At that time I was unable to travel very far to do detailed research so I began to write about the area I knew and loved – Lincolnshire – the place where I grew up and lived. In particular, I focused on the flat farming land near the coast, which I so love. And this was how Plough the Furrow was born.
I soon realized that this story was going to be more than one book and in fact it became a trilogy – the story of three generations of women. When Darley sold the first novel to Pan Macmillan and they published it in September 1994 I was over the moon. My thirty-eight-year dream finally came true when I first saw a paperback of Plough the Furrow on the shelves in WH Smith! So this trilogy really does have a special place in my heart, as these books were the first of my stories published into paperback and began my career with Pan Macmillan, which has so far spanned twenty titles.