Rena George: In Her Own Words
I was born in Glasgow, which to my mind is still one of the friendliest cities in the world. My grandmother worked in the local public library, so I was introduced to the magical world of books at a very early age. The whole process of making up stories and creating characters that come alive on the page has always fascinated me.
Heidi, Anne of Green Gables, and Enid Blyton’s Famous Five – I still have treasured copies of these old favourites.
When I was eight we moved to the village in Renfrewshire where my Dad was born and brought up. There was a Bluebell Wood at the back of our garden, a fantasy world where we children could track foxes, climb trees, make dens, and build crossings over the burn. The Famous Five stories could have been written about our adventures.
Later, when my school friends were planning to become hairdressers, secretaries, and teachers, my sights were set on a more exciting career. I wanted to be a newspaper reporter!
BECOMING A WRITER
I plied editors with begging letters. I would have taken any job just to get into a big newspaper office. I might have had more luck if I’d approached the local papers, but flower shows and coffee mornings were not the kind of things I wanted to write about.
I wanted the grittier stuff. I wanted to interview real people, tell their stories, report on the kind of hard lives so many Glaswegians had in those days. I wanted to cover the courts, write first hand about the terrible things people did to each other and themselves. I wanted the chance to find my stories by doing the rounds of city police stations, hospital emergency departments, and fire stations.
Eventually my persistence paid off and I landed a job as a cub reporter on Scotland’s highest circulation tabloid newspaper. I’d wanted it all, and now I’d got it. It was one of the best times of my life. It was exciting to be on the trail of a story, and a moment of glory when someone, who had previously refused to speak to any other journalist, agreed to be interviewed by me.
There’s no feeling in the world quite like seeing a byline with your name. Back then it was on the pages of newspapers, now it’s books on shelves, or eBooks in Amazon’s Kindle Store. It still gives me a thrill.
It was while working for this newspaper, that I met and married my husband, another journalist, and we moved to the Clyde Coast, where our front room overlooked the estuary and the beautiful Argyll Hills and Holy Loch.
Our three children were born here.
FAMILY RURAL LIFE
The closure of my husband’s newspaper saw us heading for the Scottish Highlands, to the town where he grew up. We bought a couple of cottages and a shop in a nearby fishing village, and settled into rural life. It was then that my enduring passion for Cornwall started.
One year we rented a cottage for a family holiday in Lostwithiel, and have been returning to the wonderful county at least once every year since.
We now live on the lovely Yorkshire coast, which I adore, but I still hanker after Scotland and Cornwall. The next best thing to actually being in these places is to write about them, which I do…often.
BACK TO WRITING
A few years ago I gave up my job on a Yorkshire regional evening newspaper to concentrate on writing fiction.
I have published short stories in most of the popular UK women’s magazines, as well as in Australia, and have written romance novels for DC Thomson and romance and crime novels for Ulverscroft.
I write contemporary romantic mysteries and crime novels. I am a member of the Crime Writers Association.