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Q&A: Novelist Maureen Farendon

PUBLISHED: 16:18 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:03 20 February 2013

Successful novelist Maureen Farendon

Successful novelist Maureen Farendon

Geraldine Blount talks to Maureen Farendon on how she was inspired to write three successful novels

Geraldine Blount talks to Maureen Farendon on how she was inspired to write three successful novels

MAUREEN Farendon's life changed dramatically seven years ago after she was involved in a head-on car crash. 'The other car was speeding on the wrong side of the road, but luckily I wasn't too badly hurt,' says Maureen. Badly shaken up, she was taken to a nearby house to wait for an ambulance and that wait became a life transforming experience.
'I was in a daze, but I became aware that there were coffins stacked up in the corner of the room and I suddenly realised it was an undertakers.' Instead of being depressed by these auspicious circumstances, for Maureen it was one of those moments where everything becomes very clear. 'I knew that I could have been the next to go in one of those boxes and I realised that I had to get on with my life and fulfil some of my dreams - and that included becoming a writer.'
Although Maureen had always written short stories from a young age, she had never taken herself seriously as a writer and was unsure of how to start. She was advised to 'just write' and see what happened. So this was just what she did and since then she has seen the dramatic improvements in her writing turn into several books.
Her debut as a writer is a story set over three books about the supernatural and mysterious dark forces called The Inceptor Trilogy. The first book in the series was published in 2006, while the second and final book both appeared in the shops last year. The lead character, Charity Holmes, is a psychic investigator whose battles with dark forces are thrilling and full of suspense.
For these novels Maureen drew on her experience as a tarot card reader and her studies of the mantic arts and she admits to being inspired by some of the bizarre and colourful characters she met while doing readings. 'That was quite an interesting if not unusual time as often I saw clients who were white witches who were weird and strange, but also very ordinary and normal in lots of ways,' she says.
Despite having a full time job Maureen has managed to pen these books easily. 'I am an insomniac so I am able to write into the early hours. For me this is a very productive time.'
Maureen considers herself lucky to have a wonderful job as the office manager at Shenley Park and to live in the park itself where she is surrounded by 45 acres of gorgeous countryside and woodland every day. She has a wonderfully positive attitude to life and says, 'Nothing is wasted, I used to lack confidence but now I realise that everything I do is a learning experience and I try to get something positive out of every day.'
This attitude must be working as Maureen has recently finished two more novels. These again are thrillers involving the supernatural and strange, but, in a new departure, include love stories.
Maureen's penchant for unusual and quirky things with lots of character also extends to Hertfordshire itself, and she says, 'It is just full of lovely villages that are full of individual personality and personalities, and quaint buildings that are full of character.'
The other reason Maureen likes the area around Shenley is the abundance of good restaurants, cinemas and interesting local events, and there are plenty of activities going on in the park itself. A favourite of hers is the open air theatre in the summer and there are the apple days in October where the apples grown in the orchard in Shenley Park are pressed to make organic juice and sold locally.
'I really do have a great life, although it took a near-death experience to realise it,' adds Maureen happily.

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