Lockdown proved productive for a Dwyfor woman who used the time to write. Joy Margetts, from Criccieth, has based The Healing on her own life, with a twist.
“I live in Criccieth and have done for over 20 years. I love Wales and particularly its history.
“Last year during lockdown I wrote a book. It is based on my own life experiences but in the guise of historic fiction.
“I also took inspiration from Welsh history and particularly the Abbey ruins at Cymer.
“My story follows a knight and a monk on their journey through Wales, and takes in other familiar Abbey sites, including Tintern and Cwmhir.
“To my amazement a publisher offered me a publishing deal.”
Joy’s first novel is now available both online, and in bookshops.
It’s a dream come true for Joy, who says she has loved writing for as long as she can remember.
A retired nurse, mother of two and a new grandmother, she also has a lifelong interest in history and loves nothing better than visiting ancient monuments or burying herself in archive material.
She was brought up in Southern England, but for the last 25 years she and her family have made their home on the North Wales coast. Her writing is inspired by the beautiful landscapes and rich spiritual history of her adopted homeland, and by her faith in God.
Joy added: “Driven to despair by heart-breaking betrayal, nobleman Philip de Braose has lost faith in God and man. Working as a soldier for hire, he recklessly seeks death and is brutally injured, only for rescue to come in the unlikely form of a Cistercian monk.
“This joy-filled, kind and compassionate man walks alongside Philip as his body slowly recovers and he is forced to confront the more painful wounds within. As they travel from France to an Abbey deep in his Welsh homeland, Philip disguises himself as a Cistercian and begins to rediscover the man God always intended him to be.
“But when his past invades the present, his newly awakened faith is challenged by long-buried dreams and he must decide if he can live a life devoted to God outside the Abbey’s walls.”
Joy added : “The Healing is a work of historic fiction but also my story. Eight years ago my life was turned upside down when I became unexpectedly ill. I struggled physically, but also went to a very dark place emotionally and spiritually. God felt very far away, but the truth is he wasn’t. He surrounded me with people who loved me and prayed for me. I made the decision to choose to hope and my healing began.
“Lockdown in April 2020 gave me the time and space to write my first novel, which had been in the planning stages for far too long!
“Instant Apostle had faith enough in the book to publish it for me in March 2021. I believe that its message of hope is never more timely for these uncertain, and fear filled days we are living in.”
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