Margaret Holbrook on Hobby Horses will Dance and other stories.
Tuesday 19th May 2015 @ 10:55 by Anna Fletcher
Poet's Corner

An interest in myths and folklore has led author Margaret Holbrook into creating a book of poetry, ‘Hobby Horses Will Dance.’

Margaret said: “I’m really interested in Anglo Saxon history and it is based on those months of the year. The back of the book actually has pages where you can look up the different festivals and the months in which they are celebrated. It’s only a slim volume, but it actually took two years for me to put together.”

Margaret is from Macclesfield but spent many years living in Romiley. Her skills as a writer have covered poetry as well as fiction and plays with one of her plays to be performed in Congleton Festival in September.

Margaret said: “I like writing plays because you’ve got a group of people in one place and you put words into their mouth. You think of something that could happen and you see where it takes you.

“A play is just a snapshot of what happened at that particular time but with a piece of fiction or a short story you’ve obviously got to try and tie up the ends because it is nice to have an ending.”

Margaret enjoys writing in all the mediums but cites poetry as the hardest saying: “It’s different again. It’s the most difficult to write because it takes longer to get to the finished piece because you can keep looking at it and thinking that a word or phrase has to go. In about 6 months it can alter totally and you can even look at pieces that you’ve written two or three years ago and still think it needs a bit of a rewrite.”

Margaret’s first book was Watching and Other Stories which she wrote in the café in Stockport’s Debenhams over about three hours.

She laughs: “I had to keep ordering more toast and tea because I felt like I was outstaying my welcome!”

The volume is a book of short stories following different characters.

Margaret explains: “It is a mix of light and dark, but I do particularly like the dark side of writing and reading. Characters may appear light at first, but I like them to have another life that is the real them, the nice side is just a front.”

Margaret has written since being a child and continues to write everything in longhand before transferring it to a computer.

She said: “I always have a notepad with me and I’ve said I wanted to be an author since I was about 7, but then I ended up being a florist which I suppose is a bit arty.

“Then this last four or five years, my family is all grown up and I can do it now I have more time for me.”

Her advice to burgeoning writers is to just get something down on paper: “Nothing will be perfect first time out, just give yourself that time to write. I don’t always get much down, maybe 3 or 4 lines but it just helps to keep your mind focused a bit.”

Margaret also encourages writers to submit to magazines and newspapers as soon as they have a bit of confidence.

She added: “Don’t be put off if you get a rejection because you’ll get dozens, anybody who thinks they’ll made money out of poetry won’t, but you have to do it for the love and pride not the money.”

For more information on Margaret and her books visit www.margaretholbrookwrites.weebly.com.