Backwell charity worker publishes debut novel touching upon PTSD awareness

PUBLISHED: 16:00 06 August 2020

Tina M Edwards said times are changing but female writers still have less time to be creative.

Tina M Edwards said times are changing but female writers still have less time to be creative.

Tina M Edwards

A charity worker from Backwell has released her first novel, which touches upon mental health stigma.

The Secret of Creek Cottage, Tina M Edwards's debut novel.The Secret of Creek Cottage, Tina M Edwards's debut novel.

Tina M Edwards works for the West of England Rural Network (WREN) which aims to support the wellbeing of rural communities in North Somerset and beyond.

Despite lending her hand to poetry and flash-fiction – stories under 500 words – Tina began to pen her first book last November, at the age of 53.

She said: “I had always wanted to write a book, last year I thought to myself ‘why am I holding back? I decided to knuckle down and finish the book.”

The Secret of Cottage Creek was soon finished and has now been published under SilverWood Books.

Tina had previously found inspiration from her family, recently uncovering a host of poems written by her Grandad.

“My Grandad was a poet and I guess I always wanted to rebel against writing when I was younger, but as I became older and uncovered some of his poems, it really inspired me.

“He was born in 1906 and after he passed away I found some of his writings, all neatly typed out. It was remarkable to read through.”

After eventually beginning to write at the age of 50, three years have passed and Tina’s first novel follows the lives of two families, 100 years apart, and addresses the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder, known in 1916 as shellshock.

She said: “I wanted to make mental health a talking point in the book and the reviews show it has helped many readers.

“It is humbling to see the great reviews and messages people have left about my book.”

The road to becoming a published author was not just long for Tina, it also had some bumps along the way.

She added: “As a woman, it is almost as if you do not have the time to be creative.

“For mothers, it is hard to have more than an hour to sit and write, especially when there are no funds from it.

“There was always a fear of not being taken seriously, something that is changing nowadays.

“Now I have finished my first book, I have left the room to possibly develop characters for a second book so watch this space.”

To purchase The Secret of Cottage Creek or read more of Tina’s work, visit

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