B P Kennedy was born in Gateshead. Her parents had four children altogether, three sons, and one daughter, B P Kennedy.
The Kennedy family were a large close knit clan and B P Kennedy spent most of her childhood living not only with her parents and brothers but also her mother’s, four sisters.
“The ten of us would be squashed into a three bedroom flat but to us, it was the best place in the world to live. I loved my childhood it was full of love and laughter. We kids were spoilt rotten by both our parents and aunties. The family didn’t have a lot of money but what we did have we shared. If I had to describe my childhood in one word I’d say -Magical!”
Kennedy left school at sixteen and went on to Gateshead Technical College to complete a Secretarial Course before studying for an Ordinary National Diploma in Business Studies.
“Back in the day when I was growing up in a very working class background, there was no expectation for me or my class mates to achieve anything. I remember the careers advisor sitting me down and saying ‘So do you want to work in a shop, factory or office?’
Fortunately, my mam had great ambitions for me and encouraged me to go on to college and get an education. She’d always say you can do anything you set your mind to.”
Kennedy left Gateshead College and went on to what was then Newcastle Polytechnic to study for her accountancy qualifications, it was there she met her future husband. The couple married in 1987 and had three children together. With three children under the age of five, and the youngest daughter having been born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, Kennedy stopped working and focused her energy on being a full time mother to their three children.
“Before I had my children I’d had no real desire to become a mother. As a child I didn’t play with dolls and prams. I was a tom boy at heart and much preferred to be kicking a ball around with my brothers, or riding a bike. When my first daughter arrived, I became a real mother hen and I’ve never changed. My girls mean the world to me and I am truly grateful to have the three of them in my life.”
In 2006 Kennedy went on to study part-time for a Psychology Degree, at Sunderland University. It was after she completed her degree, her husband announced he wanted to end their twenty-three-year marriage when Kennedy discovered her husband had been having an affair with a work colleague. The couple divorced in 2011. The break-up was the start of a three-year bitter divorce battle. It was also the start of Kennedy’s new life.
“I got married with every intention of staying married. Divorce wasn’t an option I’d ever considered however my husband had other ideas. He wanted out of the marriage to start a new life with his mistress. My marriage breaking up was a bitter pill to swallow. During the divorce I also had to face other family tragedy. My youngest daughter contracted Peritonitis and nearly lost her life, then as she began her slow recovery my eldest brother, collapsed at his home, he’d had a brain aneurism and died shortly after, in hospital. It was as if I’d been thrown out of a plane without a parachute. I had the choice to fly or die, I chose to fly.”
Kennedy decided she wanted to tell her story. She’d always harboured a secret desire to write a book one day but life got in the way and it was a, maybe one day I’ll get around to it, project. The ‘One day’ arrived when Kennedy became totally disillusioned with how she’d been treated by the legal system as well as her ex-husband and his legal team. She wanted to share her story partly as a cathartic exercise but also in a hope it might help other people going through a similar situation.
“At the start of my legal battle I was totally naïve, I had complete faith in the British Legal System and my solicitors who I believed were acting in my best interest. How wrong I was.”
Having no previous writing experience and even less idea where to start writing a book, Kennedy sort the professional help of Ken Scott (Scottie). Scottie is an accomplished author who is credited with having a number of best-selling books to his name including ‘Do The Birds Sing in Hell’, which is currently in the process of being made into a Movie.
Kennedy and Scottie hit it off straight away, their backgrounds were very similar and most importantly for Kennedy, Scottie was originally from Newcastle before he relocated to Spain.
“My story was based in Newcastle, a city I am very proud of. Scottie and I are both Geordie’s, we’d walked the same streets, and we share the same northern culture and humour. It was important I could work with someone I related to. In addition, Scottie was able to offer a male perspective which was important because there were a number of strong dominant male characters in the book. I knew instantly he was the man for the job.”
The collaboration between Kennedy and Scottie works very well. They are currently working together on Kennedys second book.
“When I first spoke to Scottie about my book he immediately asked ‘Do you want me to write it for you.’ I didn’t of course, I wanted the book to be in my own words, I couldn’t put my name to anything I hadn’t written. However, the book was definitely a collaboration. Scottie made a significant contribution. I couldn’t have written it without his input, he corrected my mistakes, deleted the ‘waffle’ as he calls it and contributed some great prose. Scottie brought the book to life. I enjoyed working with him and still do. I hope we can collaborate on many more books in the future.”
Kennedy returned to full time employment in 2015. She hopes one day to be able to have a full time career as a writer.
“My life has changed completely since my divorce. I’ve discovered a passion for writing. The irony is I might never have got around to writing the book if my marriage hadn’t ended. To coin one of my mother’s well used phrases ‘What’s meant for you will not pass you by.
Maybe its destiny, who knows, I only hope ‘And Then the Penny Dropped’, is going to be the first of many novels I can share with my readers. I hope you enjoy it.”