A FORMER nurse and college lecturer has published her first novel— at the age of 77.
Doreen Scott enjoyed a successful 25-year career as a nurse, midwife and health visitor, as well as lecturing at Northumberland College on behalf of the Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists (AMSPAR).
When the Morpeth resident retired at the age of 70 she had no intention of giving up her busy schedule altogether so she looked for a new interest to keep her occupied.
Mrs Scott, of Kingswell, had written numerous articles for medical magazines and enjoyed writing so began to put pen to paper to note down anecdotes from her nursing experiences.
But after sending the work off to publishers, she was guided in a new direction and so began her journey as a novelist.
“I was a lecturer for years and years and I have written quite a lot of articles for medical magazines, but it wasn’t until I retired that I started writing for myself,” said Mrs Scott.
“I didn’t know how to fill in the day because I wasn’t fit enough to go out and do gardening, but I had always wanted to write a book.
“People were saying I should write anecdotes about my nursing career, some were quite funny and some quite sad, so I wrote them down and sent them off to a publisher.
“A lady wrote back who used to be a nurse and understood why I had written those, but she suggested I write a story instead.
“She said I wrote well and had a talent so I should write a novel, so this is what I have done.”
Mrs Scott began her work in February 2010 and after 20 months of dedication, her story made it into print.
The Door To Happiness, written under the pen name Rowena Ewart, follows the lives and loves of a family in the south west of Scotland against the backdrop of the Second World War.
Jane and Archie McBurnie live idyllically with their three children in a cottage in the Cairnmuir estate, but their lives are turned upside down when Archie enlists in the army and they are forced to leave their beloved home.
However, through the generosity of Cairnmuir owner Bill Austin, Jane and her children are able to find a lovely new home, but Bill is not all he seems and the plot thickens with intrigue, espionage and danger.
“The book is set at the beginning of the war, through the war and post-war, but it is not about the war, it is about the people,” said Mrs Scott.
“It is a family story located on an estate in south west Scotland. When I was little I lived in Scotland where there was such an estate, but the book is fictional absolutely.
“Some of it is funny and some of it is sad. It is not a classic, but it is light reading.”
She added: “It is lovely to see it in print. I got sent 15 free copies and the morning I received the first book I did absolutely nothing, I just sat there and looked at it.”
Mrs Scott is already planning a sequel to the novel.
She will be signing copies of her book at Waterstones in Sanderson Arcade on Saturday, from 2pm to 4pm.