Little dog helps Southam writer achieve ambition

A SOUTHAM mother who spent more than half her life in South Africa has achieved a life-long ambition by completing her first book - 36 years after starting it.

Linda Nykamp, who lived in the country for 26 years until returning to England in 1996, finally completed her children’s book, Goldie to Petra, this year, having first put pen to paper at the age of 18.

The 54-year-old, who now lives on a farm in Southam, said she had been determined to write a book based on her experiences in South Africa at the time and had all the ideas ready to go. But getting married and having four children distracted her from the task and the book was put away and lay untouched for decades.

But four years ago, something made Linda dig out her notes and pick up from where she left off. She said: “At first, I though maybe I am wasting my time as I surely I would have lost the thread after such a big time lapse. But the funny thing was, the memories all came back and I was able to complete it really quickly.

“I decided that it was a lifetime goal that I must achieve.”

Luckily the 18-year-old Linda had made notes on how the book would progress, so the memories returned more easily.

She said: “All the places and wildlife in the book are based on what I was experiencing at the time.

“I found it much easier to slide into African life than I did coming back to England. I really settled there and found England really different.

“Since leaving, I haven’t been back due to commitments at home and financial reasons, but I do miss South Africa. It’s such a different lifestyle.”

Linda now works as a medical typist, while alongside she runs a business selling knitted animals and offers hairbraiding to people at fetes and carnivals.

But she enjoyed writing her first book so much that she has already begun another.

Goldie to Petra focuses on a dog who begins her unknown journey to an unknown destination, with the reason being just as mysterious. Along the way she breaks her leg, lives with a family, has puppies, spends time in the army, becomes a mascot and has many names. The book will be available to buy on Amazon in the near future, but in the meantime people can by it through Linda’s website or by emailing [email protected]

Linda will donate proceeds from the sale of books to charity.