Sunday, 12 February 2017

Meet the participants of the #LlandeiloBookFair #LlandeiloLitFest: Nicola Beechsquirrel

Book Fair Interview with Llandeilo resident writer 

Nicola Beechsquirrel

I create non-fiction books using material from my family history archives. To written documents by various ancestors, I add historical background relevant to the subjects contained in each particular document, researched from sources such as libraries, the Internet, or my own collection of books. To accompany the text, I use photographs, postcards and drawings from albums belonging to the relevant ancestor. My aim is to piece together the story of specific periods of an ancestor's life, drawing together fragments of memorabilia that would otherwise remain mere disjointed objects in a box.

Memoirs of a Twentieth Century Homesteader is the first such book I have created. Around Lawrence Nowell's own account of his life as a homesteader farming the western Canadian prairies at the start of the twentieth century, I have woven a tapestry of historical background and remembered family anecdotes. This I have embellished with photographs from his album and line drawings made by his niece, Ivy Kent. Lawrence Nowell was my maternal grandfather. 

This book has been many years in the planning and making, so it is with a great sense of achievement that I bring it to Llandeilo Book Fair. A friend said to me, “ Enjoy the feeling of having completed your Grandfather's memoirs, - it means his legacy lives on and is preserved for the future.”

I have enjoyed visiting some of the previous Book Fairs at Llandeilo, my local town, and look forward to participating in the next one from the other side of the table!

I have lived in rural Wales for many years, since leaving London where I was brought up. The rugged and beautiful countryside is much more to my taste than city life. After my children grew up and left home, I studied at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter; and gained a B. A. in archaeology and anthropology. The computer skills I learned in the process have given me the confidence and ability to create the books I have been longing to write for years. The next one is still at the research stage, and concerns a journey to Kashmir made by my grandmother, Ivy Hindley, and three colleagues from the Wesleyan Methodist mission in south India where she worked from 1909-1915.

When not writing, I enjoy reading a variety of authors, including Terry Pratchett, Lindsey Davies, Carole Matthews and Laurie R. King; and also various non-fiction subjects that catch my eye. I am also enjoying the works of some local authors!

Memoirs of a Twentieth Century Homesteader may be obtained via the following links:

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