In The Beginning..The Water Doctor’s Daughter’s

When I was writing my true crime book, The Water Doctor’s Daughters, I had a moment of panic and said to my husband Rob, ‘Oh dear, what if someone publishes this one day and I have to give talks about it?’  He was quite amused and answered,  with complete justification; ‘Well I hardly think you need to worry about that!’  BUT, against all the odds someone did publish it,  and  thanks to  Robert Hale Ltd.  I ended up thousands of miles from home busy promoting  my debut book. Oh my word!

The snowbound  launch  at Great  Malvern (home of the water-cure doctor and his family) was stressful enough, but  a couple of months later I blithely agreed to speak at the new Worcester Hive. It is  an innovative concept where a university shares space with a public library. The Water Doctor’s Daughters was to be on sale at the Archive & Archaeology Department’s  bookshop…quite a lure for an author  in the competitive world of book selling.

The event was advertised in the local press and just before we drove out to Worcester I had an email from BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester inviting me to take part in a chat show the day before my talk. Now I had only ever spoken on radio once before …a brief spot on BBC Sussex’s breakfast show about the same  book via telephone from Australia.   I was almost paralysed with fear by the time we arrived at the studios …how would I cope with  earphones and  a mike? Would I actually be in a separate booth from the host?   If so, what if  I  missed my cue? To make matters worse, I was  recuperating from a nasty cold.



Fortunately the presenter, Tammy Gooding, was absolutely delightful; warm, friendly  and the complete professional. Nor did  I have to wear earphones, we simply chatted across the studio desk with me speaking into an overhead mike.  Now I  can’t say that  I wasn’t (very) nervous but  the lovely Tammy did her best to put me at ease. We chatted for a very generous 15 minutes without interruption. I refused to listen back  to  it when we were given the link (I would have been ill!) , but other people did. They were most kind, even about my Aussie accent.

It was a bit disconcerting to see my event being advertised at The Hive next day on their hi-tech media screens but hey, I was an old hand at the media game now!  Mind you, they did reduce Dr Marsden’s daughters from five to one.


Book shop display for The Water Doctor's Daughters at The Hive

Book shop display for The Water Doctor’s Daughters at The Hive

I should point out that,  as is always the case, The Hive has created some controversy. People have criticized the architecture  in particular, but I think it’s great.  The golden ‘honeycomb’ exterior  reflects the purposeful activity within, as does the name…The Hive.

In a year when over 100 public libraries closed in the UK, how brave this project was.  It was opened in 2012 by  the nation’s queen bee…Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth.  I didn’t spot her in the audience at my talk,  but her great-grandmother  Victoria features  strongly in the story of  The Water Doctor’s  Daughters .  I might send a signed copy to the palace.

Oh dear, writing a book is definitely the easy part my friends!

If you would like to know a little more about The Water Doctor’s Daughters, click here.

The is also a self guided, Water Doctor’s Daughter’s literary walk around Malvern

Have you had to speak on radio? Come on, share your experience by leaving a message in the comment box below!  COMPLETE  THE LITTLE  MATHS QUESTION FIRST  THOUGH OR YOUR PRECIOUS WORDS WILL VANISH INTO THE ETHER.
















  1. I envy your pain. What does that say about me?

    You didn’t sound nervous at all! The whole conversation came across as very natural.

    • Pauline

      How kind you are Peter. And yes, I know receiving any level of publicity for our books is wonderful. However, I’m sure I have aged ten years since leaving Australia and I was pretty ancient to begin with!

  2. What a great interview Pauline, you came accross so well. Even though it was a little complicated to get to it was worth the effort. I was once interviewed on Radio Australia but never got to hear it because I didn’t know how to access the replay.

    • Thanks Gayle, that’s very generous. What were you being interviewed about I wonder?

      • I was interviewed about my twitter fiction following an article in our local paper. (There’s a copy of the article on my website at About > Gayle in the News.)

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