Friday, July 05, 2013

40 for 40 - Sally Quilford

How do I introduce Sally Quilford?
She's someone who's aiming to earn the label  of a Kate Walker Stalker by attending as many of my workshops as she can.  She has had stories published in most of the major women’s magazines, and had nine pocket novels (to date) published My Weekly Pocket Novels and one by The People’s Friend Pocket Novels.Sally is a monthly columnist with Writers Forum magazine and has also had articles published in The New Writer. Sally lives in Derbyshire with her husband and four westies. When the weather is nice enough she writes in her shed, hence her own ‘publisher’ on her Kindle ebook being labelled ‘Tales From the Shed’.   She also has so many pen names that I often forget what I really should call her  and she ends up being called by a sort of blend of them all - so . . .

Here's Trally!

My Big Fat Derbyshire Wedding

Our wedding day August 27th 1982
Our wedding day August 27th 1982

I’m sure everyone imagines romance writers to have very romantic weddings. Maybe on a yacht in the Mediterranean. Or at Blenheim Palace with an orchestra playing in the background. I’m sure that as a teenager I dreamed of such scenarios. They usually involved David Soul if I remember rightly. My wedding was nothing like that.

Oh our love affair started off promising enough. We’d only been going out for three and a half months when we married in August 1982, so it was the epitome of a whirlwind romance. I was also marrying a man nearly fifteen years older than myself. That’s another romantic staple ticked off. Less romantic was that we’d met as a result of CB Radio, where I used the handle White Queen and hubby was known as Cheapskate.

The gossipy older women in the factory where I worked kept looking at my tummy, which remained resolutely flat (those were the days!) Our son was born 11 and a half months after our wedding, on my 20th birthday. So there! But the events of our wedding day gave everyone cause to give us just a few months before we gave up and went home to our parents. I was surprisingly calm when our wedding day arrived. I only wanted to wake up the next day in our new home with the man I loved, so I didn’t care that our wedding was at the Registry office, followed by a reception at the CB Radio club where we’d met.

Unfortunately the friend who was due to pick me up in his Ford Granada (posh huh?) decided to leave it till the last minute to drop off his girlfriend at the registry office in Chesterfield, before coming back to Bolsover (6 miles away) at quarter to four. This was on a Friday afternoon, and I was supposed to be getting married at four o’clock! So another family friend said they’d take me in their Cortina. I seem to remember that it was black, but one door was painted white. Lovely.

We headed off towards Chesterfield, but then who should be coming the other way but Granada man? So the Cortina driver stopped and there I was, standing at the side of the Bolsover to Chesterfield road in all my finery, whilst Granada man found a place to turn around. I looked as if I was hitching a lift to my wedding! Granada man, who couldn’t understand the panic (!) drove like an idiot, and my abiding memory as we hurtled towards Chesterfield and my nerves finally took hold was that ‘Come on, Eileen’ by Dexys Midnight Runneres was playing on the radio. Too-ra-loo-ra-hey indeed.

 I was convinced that my future husband, Den, would get there before me and think I’d changed my mind. But I made it, just in time.

Unsurprisingly, I was a mass of nerves during the ceremony. So much so that the registrar asked ‘Are you sure you want to do this? You don’t have to.’

The rest of the day is a bit of a blur, but just to make my wedding as low class as possible, when we reached the club, my father-in-law bet another family friend, Stan, that he wouldn’t get up on the table and do a strip. Stan, now deceased, was a one-eyed man who still lived with his mother. His mother was at the wedding, and when he got down to his underpants, she started hitting him with her handbag. The poor woman was beside herself with embarrassment. Everyone else, including me, burst out laughing. Only later did I think that it was a rotten thing for my father-in-law and Stan to do at our wedding.

So yeah, not the most romantic wedding ever, thanks to Granada man’s poor timing and Stan the stripper. I can’t imagine any of that turning up in a Mills and Boon novel, can you? But do you know what? On 27th August 2013, we’ll have been married 31 years, proving all the naysayers wrong.

Our Day Will Come - Linford Romance LibraryWe have two wonderful children and loads of gorgeous grandchildren who bring lots of love and laughter into our lives. Real life romance isn’t about overcoming the odds in order to get married. Real life romance is about overcoming the odds and staying married.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish Kate and the Babe Magnet the very best for their 40th wedding anniversary. I know they’ve had to overcome a few odds over the past couple of years, yet their devotion to each other is clear to everyone who is lucky enough to meet them. Here’s to the next 40  years!

Our Day I’m offering my large print novel, Our Day Will Come, as part of Kate and Babe Magnet’s anniversary celebration. I’ll let Kate tell you how you can win it.

From Kate  -  To win Sally's Our Day Will Come - answer this question in the comments:

What’s the best song for a first dance at a wedding and/or what’s the worst song you’ve ever heard at a wedding? (you can  answer either of them)

Sally says:  I ask that because my novel Let Me Be Your Hero is inspired by Enrique Iglesias’s song and it was played at the hero and heroine’s wedding.    This book is published under my Elise Hart pen name.
You can find out more about Sally and her writing at her blog Quillers Place


Sally said...

Ah, what a lovely story and still together after all these years - romance is living the ordinary everyday of your life.

Sally Quilford said...

That is very true, Sally. It's what happens after the first flush of romance has gone that makes or breaks a marriage.

womagwriter said...

Aw, a lovely wedding story!

We played The Pogues, Fairytale of New York, at our wedding. No it wasn't a Christmas wedding - it was early October. But this was 'our' song. If you really think about the lyrics, it tells the story of a long relationship with all its ups and downs. So despite the 'you scumbag you maggot' lines which everyone seems to remember, it's actually the perfect song for a wedding: 'Can't make it all alone, I built my dreams around you'.

Sally Quilford said...

Great song, Kath! I think the 'scumbag' 'maggot' lines speak of a couple who are so comfortable they can throw insults at each other without it really hurting.

Caroline said...

One wedding I attended years ago had the bride/grooms song as AC/DC's "Highway To Hell." I don't think it was the bride's choice if her facial expression was anything to go by! Caroline x

bn100 said...

like "say a little prayer for you" in my best friend's wedding movie

Sally Quilford said...

Caroline! That's hilarious. My daughter and her husband walked back down the aisle to 'Hi Ho Silver Lining'. And that was only a couple of years ago, not in the seventies!

BN, I love that scene in that film!

Mary Preston said...

I can't think of a worst song, I wish I could because that would be hilarious no doubt.

The best song has to be, hands down, THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT. I don't even mind which crooner you choose - Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett or Michael Buble.

Maria Perry Mohan said...

Hi Sally, Hi Kate,

I loved reading about your wedding Sally. What a funny story, and I love your shared wisdom too. I'm with you on all that.


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