Interview with Anne Allen
I reviewed Anne Allen’s first novel ‘Dangerous Waters’ in August last year. You can read what I thought of it here:-
Anne now has a second book called ‘Finding Mother’ coming out and I was very keen to interview her and find out more about it.
You’ve got a new book coming out. Can you tell me a bit about it please?
It’s called Finding Mother and follows the search of a young woman, Nicole, for her natural mother. She’s always known she was adopted but hadn’t really thought about tracing her mother until her marriage lands on the rocks, forcing Nicole to look at herself. She’s not happy with what she sees so sets off from her home in England and travels to Spain, Jersey and finally Guernsey in pursuit of the woman who gave her away.
The book looks at the stories of the other women involved too, as secrets have been buried and Nicole’s arrival opens the proverbial Pandora’s box. As I’m fascinated by human relationships I’ve focused on how people relate to each other in the family as well as romantically. Like my first novel, Dangerous Waters, there’s a strong romantic theme running through the story, going as far back as WWII.
Front of Cover
Back of Cover
Where do you get your ideas from?
My work as a psychotherapist has provided much food for thought as it’s given me a unique chance to explore the human psyche. Some of my clients were adopted as were some family members. So, once adoption became the central premise, I then looked at the idea of family secrets to give a bit of a twist :-) Like any writer, once you have one idea, others seem to follow although the whole plan of the book can meander into unknown territory sometimes. I think the characters take over and make their own decisions! My love of Guernsey means that, for me, it provides the ideal setting for my books. It helps that it not only has a fascinating history but is also such a beautiful island. And islands have their own kind of magic, don’t they?
In your last book ‘Dangerous Water’ there were lots of references to food. Do you like to cook?
Mmm, sort of. I like cooking for family get togethers, but they only happen a couple of times a year. Let’s say I like the idea of cooking more than the reality! I can get very uptight if things don’t go according to plan – and time :-)
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to try their hand at writing a novel?
Just start writing. Anything, doesn’t have to be a full-length novel to begin with. You need to have some idea of what you want to write, first. Would it be romance, thriller, mystery or paranormal? I feel you need to choose a genre who love, one you’ve devoured as a reader over the years. At the very least that would give you a feel for how others write. If there’s a story burning a hole in your brain, let it out!
Can you describe a day in your life?
At the moment it’s pretty well taken up with getting Finding Mother published, with all the attendant promotion and marketing that is involved. Such as being invited to write something for your lovely blog, Sonya :-) I do seem to spend far too much time on my computer, but when I can get away from it then there’s always the housework. A no-brainer, really!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Spare time? What’s that?! Well, I do like to walk by the sea when the weather’s decent. It helps me to unwind and sometimes ideas flow better after inhaling all that ozone. Indoors, I’ll watch drama on the TV or read. And I love going to the cinema or theatre with my friends.
Who are your favourite authors?
These days I’ve become very keen on historical fiction and loved Hilary Mantel’s books as well as CJ Sansome’s. I also love anything by Erica James and the late Maeve Binchy. My taste is quite eclectic and I’ll read a new author if I like the sound of the book.
Can we expect another book from you next year?
Well, I’ve made a start on my third novel, which will again be set mainly in Guernsey. It’s a romantic mystery which revolves around a newly opened Natural Health Centre in Guernsey and there’ll be a couple of bodies turning up. As with my other books, there’s a link to WWII and family secrets. At the moment the title’s either ‘Guernsey Retreat’ or ‘The Retreat’. I do hope to see it published in 2014 – sometime :-)
‘Finding Mother’ is available as an ebook on Amazon. Click on the link below to get yourself a copy.
It will be available in paperback in November and can be ordered directly from Anne through her website – www.findingmother.com
I would like to thank Anne for taking the time to answer my questions.