About Maggie

Eregendal founder Maggie Shaw creates her stories from her many and varied life experiences. A teenage runaway who made good despite her undiagnosed Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Maggie writes as one who has walked the walk in recovery and spiritual development. Her degrees in science, divinity and church music, and her career as a Mental Health Dietitian, underpin her work with a solid framework, supporting the exciting adventure stories she loves to tell.

Maggie is also a musician, composer and song writer, and many of her songs are inspired by the stories she writes. She lives in Cheshire with her husband Alan and their white cat Tarby.

Maggie’s music and short stories have been broadcast by Radio Carlisle, Cat Radio, and Red Shift Radio; and articles of hers have been published in the West Cumbrian Arts Co-operative magazine Raven, The Whitehaven News, Amateur Photographer, The Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle, The Church of England Newspaper and Chrism. Online, Maggie publishes through ArtSwarm, YouTube and Sound Cloud.

Maggie's Journey

1955

The Story Begins

Maggie Shaw was born on an unusually snowy day in Surrey in March 1955. Her father came from a farming background. But at the time of Maggie’s birth, he had moved on in his career to work for the Post Office, and would later join the Inland Revenue where he rose to the level of Inspector of Foreign Dividends. Maggie’s mother was a teacher who began her career as a nursery teacher, swiftly climbing the ladder to become a Nursery Headteacher and at retirement a local authority Inspector of Nursery Schools. Maggie’s brother was born 6 and a half years earlier. The family was based in Northern Surrey for much of Maggie’s childhood.

1970

Maggie Runs Away To London

At the age of 15, Maggie made the decision to run away from home. At school, she had wanted to study biology and chemistry, as she dreamed of being a biochemist. But this was made impossible by the school and her parents. Instead, she was told to take biology and art, with no thought of a career for her to aim for. Also about this time her grandmother died, three years after her grandfather, and the family's regular visits to their Cumbrian farm and her freedom to roam the fells stopped. She felt unsupported and unloved, and her relationship with her parents was severely strained.

1972

Maggie Meets Bob

At the age of 17, Maggie returned to Surrey. Shortly after moving back home she secured a job at a local garage, which is where she met her first husband, Bob. Bob was an apprentice mechanic at the garage and they first met each other when he delivered a car early one morning. Maggie offered him a cup of tea after his long drive and the rest, as they say, was history. This was the time of Maggie's first flowering as a writer and musician. She sold her first poem and performed her songs at local voluntary groups.

1972

Maggie Meets Bob

At the age of 17, Maggie returned to Surrey. Shortly after moving back home she secured a job at a local garage, which is where she met her first husband, Bob. Bob was an apprentice mechanic at the garage and they first met each other when he delivered a car early one morning. Maggie offered him a cup of tea after his long drive and the rest, as they say, was history. This was the time of Maggie's first flowering as a writer and musician. She sold her first poem and performed her songs at local voluntary groups.

1973-1977

Marriage, Addiction & Depression

Maggie and Bob struggled with addiction throughout their marriage. Maggie drank heavily and relied on prescription medication. In an era where doctors prescribed antidepressants as a sort of ‘magic bullet’, Maggie found herself addicted to Valium, amongst other things. That and their heavy drinking led to the breakdown of their relationship, which eventually came to an end in 1977. Throughout this period of time, and beyond, Maggie found solace and relief through writing and composing. This creative outlet was cathartic for her, and she found that it helped with her depression, particularly at the lowest and darkest moments.

1977

The Accident That Saved Her Life

A month after the breakdown of her marriage, Maggie was in a serious road accident which left her severely injured. Driving home through the countryside on her motorbike, she was involved in a side-on collision with an out of control car going in the opposite direction. As a result of this, she ended up with extensive injuries to her leg, knee and shoulder, including a broken thigh. The year following this accident saw Maggie learning to walk again and struggling to cope with the pain of her life-changing injuries. During this period of recovery, Maggie used her writing and music to help her. Looking back, she feels and hears the echoes of depression in her compositions and stories at those times.

1980

The Conversation that Transformed Her Life

Maggie's operation to corrected a knee problem didn't work. Hospital Chaplain, Bill, found her in tears and talked to her next day. He told her about God's unconditional love, that we do not have to be anything or do anything to be loved by God. To Maggie, who had only know conditional love in the past,. this was a revelation, and the key event that turned her life around. When Bill left her, she was still crying, but now they were tears of joy. Once Maggie was able to drive again , she joined the local church in Distington, Cumbria. Soon after, Maggie handed her will and her life over to God. Though the following months were tough, she coped through the firm foundation of her faith.
1984

Starting Out on the Recovery Trail

January 2nd 1984 is a key date for Maggie, as that is the day she decided to give up alcohol and prescribed mood altering drugs. Maggie had joined a healing prayer group as the secretary, and at the meetings fellow member Bob shared about his recovery on the 12 Step programme. Over the next weeks and months he guided Maggie through the 12 Steps of recovery, and helped her find a new way of living without the props of drink and prescription drugs.
1989

A New Home!

Maggie married Bob in June 1989 in Perthshire, and moved into their new home in the Tay Valley in November that year. They were very happy living in the little cottage in the sleepy little hamlet. They heated their home with old berry posts and grew lots of fruit and vegetables in their garden. Their only concern was Bob's health. He had been starting to have breathing problems, though these improved with the right diet. Maggie decided to go back to school and enrolled in Perth College, where she studied Biology and Chemistry, the two subject denied her by her school all those years before. She aimed to become a Dietitian, but had many obstacles to overcome.
1995

Maggie's First Qualification

In 1995, Maggie graduated with a 2.1 Honours Degree in Dietetics and became a Registered Dietitian. It had been a hard journey getting there. She had commuted daily between Perthshire and Edinburgh for the whole of her course, coming home each evening to care for Bob whose lung problems had become so serious he had been admitted to hospital several times. During her clinical placement, her mother had died following a stroke, and despite this she was bullied by the people training her on her placement. 'I cried tears of joy when I saw my name on the pass list,' Maggie said: 'At last I had succeeded at something.'
1999

The First of Six House Moves in Three Years

In 1999 Maggie and Bob reluctantly moved out of their beautiful country cottage to a ground floor flat in the nearby town. Bob now needed a wheelchair and mobility scooter to get around, and Maggie struggled to care for him after having two slipped lumbar discs the year before. Bob's breathing problems also affected him mentally, and he developed aggressive vascular dementia. As a form of respite, Maggie began to study a Divinity Degree at Edinburgh University. Two months later, Bob threatened to sort out their problems with a 7lb axe. She fled to the Women's Aid Refuge in Edinburgh. Unbeknown to her, he had begun divorce proceedings even before she had left.
2001-2003

A New Start!

In 2001, Maggie qualified with a Bachelor of Divinity Degree with Merit from Edinburgh. She got a job as a dietitian in South Cheshire, and moved down there in September. Though the job fell through after the awful attack on the World Trade Centre, she stayed in Cheshire as the cost of living was much better than in Edinburgh, and she had joined a friendly supportive church nearby. Bob harassed her through the divorce proceedings, trying to make her commit suicide. She still loved him and longed for a treatment that would return him to the person he used to be, so that she could care for him to his death. But that was not to be. He died in 2003, shortly after the divorce was complete.
2004-2005

Back to Surrey, Briefly

In 2004, a right knee replacement operation left Maggie with severe muscle, nerve and blood vessel damage in her calf. Despite this, she trained to be a senior school teacher, but as she completed the course, her diabetic father needed more support at home. She took a job at a senior school in north Surrey and moved back to the family home to help him, expecting to be there for several years as he was still an active 84 year old. Sadly, he was diagnosed with a tumour that August bank holiday. He was admitted to hospital the next day and died at the end of Maggie's first week in her new teaching post. She helped her brother sell the family home and moved back to Cheshire.
2010

Third time lucky!

In 2010, Maggie married Alan in the church where they had both sung together in the choir since she had lived in Cheshire. The response from their friends was overwhelming. They had invited 160 people to the wedding. 180 came. Other church members had been waiting years for it to happen - Maggie and Alan had been the last to know! Maggie worked as a part time consultant Mental Health Dietitian in several private locked-ward hospitals in the North West. With more free time, she applied to study a foundation degree in Church Music to support her work as Director of Music at her church, and was the first to be accepted on the course.
2015

Yet Another Qualification!

In 2015, Maggie was diagnosed with COPD, probably caused by years of living with her previous husband, who smoked. She was just finishing the Foundation Degree in Church Music at the time, and was encouraged to set up a singing for lung health group. So after she had completed the FDCM, she set up the weekly group, Breathe Better Sing Together, which uses singing to improve breathing. With all the singing she was doing, she found her own breathing problems improved a lot.
2018

Eregendal is born!

Maggie retired from dietetics and started publishing all the books she had written, under the Eregendal imprint. She raised the idea with Alan over dinner at the Bailbrook Hotel in Bath in February, during a two night stay. Had they booked in March, heavy snow would have stopped them, reminiscent of her own birth years before. Maggie's first book, The Vision and Beyond, came out in July. In October, Maggie was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. It was like a revelation, explaining her difficulties as a child, and the strange vision in the first part of The Vision and Beyond, which describes an autist struggling to understand a world everyone else accepts with ease.

Eregendal Publishers & Music

The name Eregéndal comes from the name of a character in one of Maggie Shaw’s earliest books, The Eagle and The Butterfly, which was published on 5th October 2020. The unique name was created from naming patterns in Celtic and Germanic folklore.

Micro-publishing business Eregendal was set up in 2018 to publish novels in Visionary Fiction, Christian Mystic and fantasy genres, which tend not to be accepted by main-stream publishers for commercial reasons. We use Print On Demand to produce our paperbacks and also sell every title as an e-book, which enables our titles to be produced in a cheaper, more ecologically friendly way than those used by traditional publishers.

Publish your Book with Eregendal

While Eregendal does not operate as a traditional publisher, it is possible to publish under our imprint if you have an unpublished novel with a fantasy, Visionary Fiction or Christian Mystic theme. We are also happy to give basic guidance to unpublished writers about self-publishing and will send our free Information Sheet upon request. Please email info@eregendal.com for further information.

Visionary Fiction

Eregendal publishes novels in the relatively new Visionary Fiction genre, a sub-category of Inspirational Fiction. Strong story lines drive the narration, but the characters also develop and change through the course of the story, and there is usually a strong metaphysical dynamic. Writers in the Visionary Fiction style include the Inklings authors J R R Tolkein, C S Lewis and Charles Williams, who wrote in the 20th century, some time before the genre was given a name.

The term “visionary fiction” was suggested by Renée Weber, professor of philosophy at Rutgers University, and used by John Algeo in a 1982 article which described recent examples and earlier precursors. Algeo called Visionary Fiction a modern and sophisticated version of the fairy tale. Present-day authors writing in the genre have grouped together in the Visionary Fiction Alliance to help define the genre and support and encourage other authors working in the same field.

Visionary Fiction

Eregendal publishes novels in the relatively new Visionary Fiction genre, a sub-category of Inspirational Fiction. Strong story lines drive the narration, but the characters also develop and change through the course of the story, and there is usually a strong metaphysical dynamic. Writers in the Visionary Fiction style include the Inklings authors J R R Tolkein, C S Lewis and Charles Williams, who wrote in the 20th century, some time before the genre was given a name.

The term “visionary fiction” was suggested by Renée Weber, professor of philosophy at Rutgers University, and used by John Algeo in a 1982 article which described recent examples and earlier precursors. Algeo called Visionary Fiction a modern and sophisticated version of the fairy tale. Present-day authors writing in the genre have grouped together in the Visionary Fiction Alliance to help define the genre and support and encourage other authors working in the same field.

Shopping Basket
Scroll to Top