Cowbit author’s late entry into publishing with life story

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Dicksie Moss’s computer will keep questioning the broad Scots words she uses in poetry.

The annoyance she feels when her computer changes her ‘braid’ (broad) Scots words to more acceptable alternatives is sometimes comical, or when writing about leeks just keeps coming out as ‘cakes’.

Dicksie has long made use of the accents of Scotland, laying it on “as thick as treacle” as a girl when her mother was with her “posh friends”.

In fact Dicksie left Scotland at three when her family moved to the south of England, yet the dialect is still unmistakable.

And those early, post-war years made a profound impression on Dicksie.

She was 50 and happily married with two children when in 1992 she wrote the first of what became a biographical trilogy about growing up in post-war Britain.

That first book though, When I get to Heaven, written using the pen name Bobbie Eriksson, made quite a stir at the time, as it was among the first books to lay bare childhood abuse and poverty.

Her parents are both dead now, but Dicksie says: “My mother wasn’t very happy about it and my dad certainly wasn’t.”

However, the book resonated with lots of other people who wrote to Dicksie, saying, ‘You have written my story’ and one woman, who had been given the book to read in prison, said it finally helped her make sense of her own life – and she wouldn’t be going back to prison again.

The book also helped Andy make sense of his wife’s upbringing; Dicksie says he knew it was strange, but had no idea about her mother who was a religious fanatic, her abusive father and the way the children were prevented from mixing with other people.

She says: “When you are in that situation you don’t think about it. You think everybody lives like that and it was quite a shock to find out some mothers actually hug their children. Scots love they call it.”

Dicksie, who has lived in Cowbit for 19 years, says the next two books in the trilogy are funnier.

Spilling the beans about her own life was a continuation of the writing she had started as a girl, mainly poetry, and getting pieces published as an adult after finishing four times as a finalist in the American Open Poetry contest.

She still writes poetry and has a couple of supernatural novels tucked away, as well as a comedy, but her latest work is totally different. Dicksie has written The Finding of Kitty Baloo, a children’s book for younger readers written in four-line verse. It is being launched at Bookmark in Spalding on Tuesday, December 6 (7.15pm).