The ‘story behind the story‘ of Trish Vickers and her incredible achievement in writing the novel, Grannifer’s Legacy, has touched the hearts of so many people around the world, and completely and utterly captivated ours too.
We are deeply sad to pass on the news that she has just lost her valiant battle against breast cancer. She was surrounded by her loving family.
We were privileged to have spent some time with them last night, we made cups of tea and said our last goodbye to Trish, as she prepared to set off on her next adventure.
It was evident how important completing Grannifer’s Legacy and getting it published had been in Trish’s life. Everyone spoke with such pride and astonishment at her tenacity and determination to do so. Trish would often read back bits of the story to them as she sought comment and approval on the characters and story line. I think the very act of Trish writing it, gave people around her such a boost of confidence helping them believe they could achieve anything they set their minds to; she certainly made me feel that way.
Grannifer’s Legacy will do that forever more now in its paper form.
In a few short weeks, there will be copies on the shelves of the British Library, the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford, Cambridge University Library, the National Library of Scotland, the Library of Trinity College Dublin and the National Library of Wales. When Simon told Trish we’d be sending them a copy, she held his hand tight and beamed a smile back at him; she was a proper author with a proper website and her own ISBN.
After 6 tumultuous and exhausting years of writing it, her dream came true and the very first copy of her book arrived on day she slipped away.
Trish effortlessly inspired everyone she brushed shoulders with and those who were lucky enough to have known her for decades were indeed blessed; how I wish I’d been one of them.
I know we would have had so many more giggles than we managed to squeeze into this past few weeks and we’d have drunk an awful lot more tea too.
I’ll close here with Trish’s bio and I hope you take some joy and illumination from what is now Trish’s legacy.
About the Author
Patricia Joyce Hughes was born on 25th September, 1952 at Bearsted Maternity Hospital, Hampton Court, the only daughter of Joyce and George Hughes. She spent her childhood years in Shepperton and her mother still lives in the house Trish grew up in.
Trish attended Thamesmead School in Shepperton, a place where she developed her love of the written word and for English poetry and her parents were always enormously proud of all she achieved; Trish was always, ‘the apple of their eye’.
Like many youngsters of the time, Trish left school at 15 and went straight into work. First as a shop girl in a hardware store, then in a fabric shop, then as a pump attendant at a nearby garage.
Trish was married at 18 and had her first child, Simon. Things didn’t work out as planned, they divorced and Trish eventually remarried and went on to have three more children: Tristan, Heidi and another daughter, Dory, tragically stillborn.
Her life took on a complete change of direction in 1996, when she moved to West Dorset with her husband and Heidi. She and Heidi opened up a gorgeous little gift shop called Zoot Allures in the historic market town of Bridport, which they enjoyed running enormously.
Sadly, her second marriage broke down in 2001 and shortly afterwards, she lost her sight to diabetes. This devastating calamity threw her into complete disarray for a while and she immersed herself into her dark new world with positivity and determination not to let her circumstance beat her. It was at this most challenging point in her life that Trish found tremendous solace in one of her greatest passions: writing.
With no knowledge of braille, or ability to work a computer, Trish had to find a way around the problem and she developed an ingenious method for getting the words down on paper, in spite of the fact that she couldn’t actually see a thing. She placed rubber bands over a notepad on a clipboard and used them as line markers, then armed with a simple pen, she sat and wrote to her heart’s content.
Trish wrote every single one of the 110,000 words that went to make up Grannifer’s Legacy using this method and she completed her gargantuan task in February 2017.
In January 2017, she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.
The first copy of her book arrived on the 9th March, the day she passed away.
Click here to Look in the Book for a preview.
Donations from the sale of Grannifer’s Legacy will be made to South West Talking Newspapers.