IT WASN’T until Patsy Collins moved to Gosport, about 20 years ago, that she began her writing career – by taking evening classes at St Vincent’s College.
Her first ever success was with a 40 word competition, for which she won book tokens and tea and cake with the mayor, for a story set in Fareham Creek.
Since then she’s moved to Lee-on-the-Solent. Patsy continues to write stories set locally from her home, as well as travelling in her campervan and writing on location around the UK.
From those local beginnings, Patsy has gone on to be well known not just nationally, but internationally, as a writer of short stories for women’s magazines such The People’s Friend, Woman’s Weekly, Allas and Ireland’s Own.
Some of her hundreds of stories published in this way, as well as those placed in competitions, have been put into themed collections. She has also produced five novels (three of which are wholly or partially set locally) and two writing guides (one co-written with author Rosemary J Kind). Love Is The Answer, which is out on July 12, is her 30th book.
This collection includes stories set on Portsdown Hill, Calshot Spit and the New Forest. The locations for others include the Isle of Skye and New York (which she visited for a friend’s wedding).
Her next release, towards the end of the year, will be a romantic murder mystery, Acting Like A Killer. The novel has many scenes set in this area, including the Gosport ferry, gallery and marina, Portchester Castle, the Royal Armouries and Alver Valley Country Park.
Love Is The Answer is a collection of 24 romantic short stories. It is available as an ebook (£1.99) and as a paperback (£6.99) online or can be ordered through The Bookshop at Lee-on-the-Solent and other retailers.
LOVE IS THE ANSWER: Love is something that many people go to great lengths to find, and to keep hold of. Willow helps others find theirs through a combination of meticulous programming and random chance, Sal stumbles into romance through a series of embarrassing accidents and Gran discovers love on a protest march.
Margaret makes a very practical arrangement to secure her share of love and happiness, Doreen has to call on a friend to help discover it and Nadine uses a dog to track it down. Lorna wins her happy ever after through a dangerous aim at a coconut shy.
Lynn and Andrew’s marriage has gone aground like a stricken ship, but it and the vessel eventually refloat. Weirdly it is Thomas Telford who helps Nikki relocate it. For Patrick and Angie it’s a kite which does the trick, and Rachel has to break her arm to heal her relationship.
Whether they’re together forever, broken-hearted, or still trying to make it work, anyone who has loved has a story to tell. This collection contains 24 of them.