Top Saga Authors Most Embarrassing Moments

Saturday, 8 July 2017

We all have them, don’t we? Those moments that haunt you, and every time they pop into your head, your cheeks redden, and you feel all hot and bothered as if the incident had just happened.

I asked top saga authors: Freda Lightfoot, Kate Thompson, Elaine Everest, Emma Hornby and Margaret Dickinson, to share their most embarrassing moment in a twofold way:

1. What was your most embarrassing outfit?
2. What was your most embarrassing moment?

Their answers are hilarious. Oh, and I didn’t let myself off the hook. I give you mine at the start, as is only fair, seeing that I expect others to bare all.

Mary Wood

My most Embarrassing moment answers both questions:

Before I became a fulltime writer, I worked for the Probation Service. I used to often dress in a hurry. This particular morning, I couldn’t find my tights, so I donned the trousers that I had worn the evening before.

Around eleven-ish, that morning, one of the Senior Probation Officers came into the office where I was sorting post. ‘Mary, what is that you have dangling from your trousers?’ He asks.
I glance down and to my horror see the toe of a pair of tights looking back at me.

Now, any normal person would have said, ‘Oh, excuse me’, and gone to the bathroom, not me (I have never been normal) – I bend and pull. Oh No, the tights that I had lost that morning, begin to come to light, and get longer and longer as I tug, but in a piece of elastic kind of way.

Everyone in the office is mesmerized. I begin to pray that my yesterday knickers are not on the end. I have visions of them flying as if from a catapult and landing on the senior’s head.
They don’t, thank God! But as the last bit of the now, seemingly ten-foot-long tights, finally zing out, a huge round of applause sets up, and I realize what I have done. It is then that I finally run to the bathroom. . .

Mary’s latest novel, TOMORROW BRINGS SORROW is available in all supermarkets and WH Smith and Boyes Stores. Or, download here:

Mary is published by Pan Macmillan, and is a Sunday Times Bestseller. She writes gritty Northern Sagas of which her titles include: THE BRECKTON SERIES, a set of four novels featuring two families, set in the time period 1877 – 1960.

And wartime novels which take you to the heart of the lives and war work, our brave women engaged in:
ALL I HAVE TO GIVE and its sequel

Mary also writes Gangland Thrillers, under the pen name Molly Kent, which she self publishes. Her debut title, THE SWEET TASTE OF REVENGE is available on Amazon.

Kate Thompson

The worst attire I ever wore:

In my school nativity play one year we did Noah's Ark and I had to go as a camel, which in reality turned out to be an all in one flesh coloured body stocking my mum had stuffed with old cushions. I stood on stage in front of the ark and said to Noah: "Let me on, my humps are heavy!" As a child, I couldn't understand why everyone howled with laughter!

My most embarrassing moment, God, so many, usually alcohol fuelled. In recent years, it would have to be falling off a stand-up paddle board into the river in front of an entire pub garden of people who all stood up and cheered.

Or, the time I fell off my shoes (they were so high it was like coming off a ladder) at a wedding straight onto the dance floor. My bum was black and blue for weeks.

Warm wishes,

Kate x

Kate is a Sunday Times Bestseller and is published by Pan Macmillan. Her novels are gritty, and set in the East End of London. They depict the courage and fortitude of the people, in particular the women, during world war two. Her current novel: THE WEDDING GIRLS is available in paperback in supermarkets and WH Smith’s, or to download here:

Kate’s other titles are:

Elaine Everest

My most embarrassing outfit was worn back in 1970 when I was a skinny college girl. It was Rag Week and I was following the floats through the streets of Erith in Kent. I felt like I was the 'bee knees' in my trendy yellow hot pants, lacy top and maxi length cardigan. With white tights and clunky heeled black patent shoes I was the height of fashion.

We decided to pop into a local pub and rattle our collection buckets at the lunchtime drinkers. However, my outfit caused much merriment amongst the elderly drinkers and before I knew it I'd been lifted onto the bar to rounds of applause as money was thrown into the bucket clenched into my sweaty palms.

How was I to get down without falling off my shoes or catching my heels in my maxi cardigan?

Thankfully I was released by a helpful landlord who added a tenner to the bucket as way of apology!

I believe that piece includes not only my embarrassing outfit but my most embarrassing moment and something I dared not go home and tell my dad about! It was the last time I wore hot pants!


Elaine is published by Pan Macmillan. She is a Sunday Times Best Seller. Her recent books take you back to a nostalgic era and are set in our most iconic work and holiday locations.

Her current novel, THE BUTLIN GIRLS is available in paperback from all supermarkets and WH Smiths, or download at:

Elaine’s titles are:
And with previous publishers
GRACIE’S WAR published by Linford Romance
DIAMONDS AND PEARLS published by Accent Press
Elaine is a lover of dogs and has many titles out which give her advice on their keep, health and placing in shows.

Emma Hornby

My most embarrassing attire has to be the huge platform shoes and army trousers I used to wear (I was a '90s teenager - blame the Spice Girls!).
Add to that my massive Mel B hair and bright purple lipstick...! I thought I was the bee’s knees - cringe!
My most embarrassing moment has to be the time I set the house on fire.
I'd put fish fingers under the grill and, completely forgetting about them, my mum and I went out. Luckily, neighbours spotted the smoke before it got out of hand, but kids at school sang The Prodigy's Firestarter at me for weeks afterwards!
Emma x
Emma is a bestselling author published by, Corgi, Bantam Press and Transworld digital. Her debut novel earned her the accolade of being compared to the late, great Catherine Cookson, as Emma sets her books in the North and tackles the issues her characters face, in the same gritty and enthralling way, as Catherine did.
Her second novel, MANCHESTER MOLL will be out in paperback in September, but is available for download now at:
Emma’s debut title:

Freda Lightfoot

One of the most embarrassing experiences I had was being invited out for lunch at a very smart restaurant in London by my editor when my first book Luckpenny Land was published. I didn’t feel at all smart or comfortable and highly nervous.
A war story set in the Lake District, my editor asked where I got the inspiration from for some of the characters, particularly Meg’s father. Unable either to read or write, Joe Turner was nevertheless frugal and adept at saving money. He made it work for him by lending it out at a good rate of interest and kept track of every penny owed him on tally sticks which he hung in a sacking bag behind the pantry door.
I told her this was apparently what my great grandfather did, calling at a mill to lend or collect money at the start and end of each week. I then went on to say that he was blacksmith and having once damaged his thumb in the work he did, he sent his wife up to bed and chopped it off.
My dear editor went quite pale and sick looking, declaring I’d almost put her off eating. How embarrassing that was to make such a mess of our conversation in this very posh restaurant. Fortunately, my agent started to laugh and so did she, so all was well after that. We did go on working together for fifteen years, which was a great relief. But I did try to behave better after that.
Best wishes,

Freda is a wonderful example to us authors at the beginning to our traditional publishing careers. A Sunday Times Bestseller, she has written 48 historical sagas and novels and 50 short stories.
The latest ones are:
THE AMBER KEEPERS & FORGOTTEN WOMEN, published by Lake Union Imprint, Amazon publishing.
And coming soon, PEACE IN MY HEART
All published by Harper Collins.
You can download, ALWAYS IN MY HEART here:

Margaret Dickinson
This episode is the unsuitable outfit:

Not long after the birth of my second daughter in 1973, my husband was invited to a party given by one of his best customers. He had a household furnishing business.  So, I went in a very short evening dress.  (I did have pretty good legs in those days!)  But, it was the time when long dresses for evening wear were just coming into fashion.  Little did I know, having been rather preoccupied the previous few months!  I was the only one there in a short dress!  I still cringe at the memory of how I felt that night!

This episode is the most embarrassing moment: 

I was giving an after-luncheon talk - rather a posh do!  I arrived in good time and went into the cloakroom.  I was wearing a bright red silky outfit of dress and coat.  At the wash basin, I turned on the tap.  It was one of those where you should stand well back - well, I didn’t.  The water spurted down the front of my dress.  So, I turned the drier to face downwards and stood holding my dress up to it.  And of course, in came the ladies who are at the luncheon to find their guest speaker in the loos drying the front of her dress.  Luckily, it dried well and left no mark.
Love, Margaret x

Margaret has written 25 novels for Pan Macmillan, and is a Sunday Times Best Seller, and consistently in The Bookseller Top Twenty Chart – the chart that measures position of all books sold in the British Isles. She is called The Queen of Pan Macmillan saga writers, and we all look up at her as such.
Margaret’s latest book is DAUGHTERS OF COURAGE which is available in paperback and to download here:

Her other titles are too numerous to list here but include:


I hope you enjoyed these ‘embarrassing moments’ and they made you smile.
Although this was fun to do, the authors involved in the article, are very aware of the amazing, and work that SomeOne Cares does, and we wish them every success. Please help them to raise funds if you are able.

Thank you, and thank you Rebecca for having us as part of your Readathon. Much love to all x

by Mary Wood

This post has been kindly written in support of #Rebeccas24HourReadathon. SomeOne Cares is a charity that helps support survivors, young and old, who have suffered of rape or some form of abuse at some point in their life. 

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Thank you for reading!

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