Born in Halifax, Yorkshire, Tricia Gabbitas began writing at 13 while at school and has never stopped. As she says “Poetry is my passion”. To date she has written almost 1,000 poems, many for use in greeting cards and for some time she wrote for various card manufacturers. Her original verses cover not just the occasions and events in life but also include commentary on all manner of things, often in an amusing way! For many years she produced her verses on bookmarks and small cards to give away and also small poetry books to raise funds for various charities. Over the years she gave hundreds of poetry cards to friends, particularly ones to help after a bereavement.
Hello Tricia – Why Spain?
We’d been wintering in Marjorca for some years but decided to try mainland Spain. As I said to my husband “It’s warmer, cheaper and you can drink the water!” We took a package deal to Nerja and found it too touristy for us but three days before our departure we went on a “blanket trip” from the hotel and it took us to Torre del Mar. We spotted an apartment for rent opposite the lighthouse and, with the help of a nearby restaurant owner, booked it for the following year for two months. We hadn’t even set foot inside the grounds but the view was amazing and we had a fantastic holiday. We loved Torre del Mar and slowly increased our stays over the years. We’re residents there now.
Before Spain you were…
I was born in Halifax, Yorkshire and started my working life as secretary/pa that ultimately took me to Devon, Somerset and London. Back in Yorkshire I continued my office career for a few years then, in my forties, I did an “Access to University” course. I was about to take a place at Leeds University studying psychology but had some health problems, so instead I retrained as an Adult Education craft teacher, turning my love of all handicrafts into a part time career. I continued writing poetry and doing numerous crafts and for some time I was also a part-time teacher for my nephew who was home-educated.
Where do you live in Spain? Give us three reasons why we should move there too!
Torre del Mar, East of Malaga.
1. It’s a lovely town, quite Spanish but easy to adapt to with very nice people.
2. There’s a wonderful flat paseo you can walk along all the way to Caleta.
3. Being a less touristy town it is quite competitive price-wise.
Poetry is now your passion, how did that journey start?
I got hooked on poetry when I was 13 at school when I wrote my first poem. Since then I’ve written about everything! I used to sell verses to greeting card companies and also produced illustrated mini cards with verses that I gave to hospitals, hospices and lots of friends (and strangers too) I created a book of poems to raise funds for MacMillan Nurses, in memory of my mum and had many poems published in local newspapers and magazines.
Now you have published 1000s of poems and songs too – tell us more?
For ten years I gave all my poems away via a blog, for people who make their own greeting cards, but two years ago I decided to publish. I have 4 poetry books: Book 1 with occasion verses, Book 2 Christian verse, Book 3 Romantic & Inspirational and Book 4 Everything else – and this is the biggest book of all. They’re all available on Amazon as e-books or paperbacks. I’ve also written a book of short stories, a book of anecdotes (co-written with my husband Tony) and my autobiography. My songs are all on Youtube – 20 Gospel songs and a pop song called Espana. I wrote the words and music and sang them as well as doing all the Youtube videos. I’ve given 8 talks in Spain about my poetry – to various social clubs.
What would be your advice to someone thinking of starting to write – where should they begin?
Imagine you’re telling your story to a friend and just rattle it off on the computer, as you would an email. Keep a notebook handy always as you’re bound to think of things – usually in the middle of the night! Don’t be afraid of having a go – write what you want for your own satisfaction without worrying about if it will be a best-seller. Be natural and trust your own style. Do whatever research is necessary and never forget to give credit where it’s due. Most of all – back everything up!
Where do you write and is there a special time of the day that works for you?
I’ve taken over a corner of the dining room for my pc desk, printer and bureau and I do all my work there but if I’m writing a poem, more often than not, I end up scribbling notes next to the bed or while I’m on the loo! Inspiration comes when it will at any time of day or night.
What has been your greatest challenge, whether personal or business?
My greatest challenge was writing my autobiography “The Truth About Tricia” which was brought about by a traumatic few years and a devastating revelation. Writing it all down was a truly cathartic experience, revealing truths that had been kept secret for over 50 years. It was also a huge learning curve
You can invite your favourite authors to dinner who would you invite and why?
James Patterson – I love his thrillers, always easy to read and satisfying!
Chris Stewart – Driving over Lemons” and others – a superb teller of true tales.
Joan Fallon –My favourites are her novels about 11thcentury Muslim Spain. They are all brilliantly researched and so full of detail and wonderful characters.
What book(s) are currently beside your bed?
Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given
ACT AS IF (pretend to be what you want to be – and ultimately you will be)
Favourite quote and why?
What you think is what you get
Something you will achieve in 2019 is…
Complete my 8thbook for Amazon – about how to make your life better.
Where can we find out more about your books, poetry and music?
My Author’s page on Amazon here
My Youtube channel here