Barbara’s 17-year struggle to publish book

SEVENTEEN years ago Barbara Tabor began writing her book.

But she had no idea it would take hundreds of rejections letters and pure grit and determination lasting almost two decades before her story saw the light of day.

Mrs Tabor, 77, of Grosvenor Road, Wanstead, still keeps the written manuscript of Force of Circumstance at her home as a reminder of the struggle she went through getting it published.

“I wanted to get the message to other would-be authors in Redbridge to not give up.

“Writing for me was a very insular experience and I had to shut myself off from the world. I kept the book a secret from all my friends. They had such a shock when I told them it had been published!”

Mrs Tabor trained to be a designer of women’s underwear at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London.

Born in Manor Park, she moved to Redbridge after she got married in 1955.

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She described how the unexpected loss of her husband in 1987 spurred her on to write.

“Although the book bears no relation to my life or my late husband’s, it made me more pensive and I found the time to get my creative juices flowing, which culminated in me putting pen to paper and writing the novel.”

After years of rejection letters from publishers, many of whom had not even read her book, Mrs Tabor received a letter from publishers Lulu, in which they gave praised her novel.

“I kept the hundreds of rejection letters. The letter from Lulu was glowing and the publishers said they would love to work with me.”

Force of Circumstances is a tale of how an English family was divided during the war by force of circumstances.

All Redbridge libraries have copies of the book, and it is also available from