I do love doing Q and A’s and today is no different as we get to know Anne a little bit more! How exciting is this!
As always we start with the “serious” questions….
Are your characters based on real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Some of the characters in Dancers in the Wind are based on real people like the idea for the book came from interviews I did as a journalist. However, by the time I had finished writing, the characters had evolved into my own creations. I often find myself adding little idiosyncrasies to characters that I’ve borrowed from my family or people I know but usually, I like to imagine the character. I start off with an idea and then the character develops – sometimes completely surprising me.
Do you have a favourite place to write?
I mostly write from home on my laptop and move to different rooms as the mood takes me. However, in June 2016, I organised a DIY writer’s retreat in Kefalonia. I went for a week on my own to a small self-catering complex. It was brilliant. I wrote 5000 words of Death’s Silent Judgement (that’s a huge amount for me) and read five books and still managed to go to the beach and eat at a charming local restaurant. I promised myself I’d do it again but somehow life gets in the way. Maybe next year…
Wow! That sounds absolutely amazing!! I need to do something like that, just for reading! On the topic of writing, is there a subject you would never write about, if so why?
I’m not sure there is – any subject, however awful, can be dealt with sensitively. You might not give a blow by blow account of a horrendous crime but you can describe the consequences for the victim and even the perpetrator.
Completely agree! Out of all the books you have written, which is your favourite one?
Dancers in the Wind holds a special place for me as it was so long in gestation and became the first in what was to become a series. However each book is special, each deals with a theme dear to my heart. Maybe if the books were standalone it would be easier to choose but as a series, they are equally important.
It was a fab introduction to you and your writing, so it’s one of my favs! Do you have a writing Kryptonite?
Stress especially if someone or something upsets me.
Ok, final “serious” question, can you tell us what you are working on now?
I’m writing a standalone psychological thriller – more contemporary than the Hannah Weybridge series – and I’m exploring a few ideas for the next in that series. At least with a series set in the 1990s, I don’t have to worry about Coronavirus!
I can’t wait to read it!! Ok, so the more fun questions now!
If you had to write yourself as a character in your book, would you be a heroine or villainous? What would you be like and what would you name yourself?
I really fancy being a villain and having lots of fun at other people’s expense. Hannah Weybridge is a bit sanctimonious at times so it would be great to break away and let rip. I’d be the type who always has a witty, sarcastic reply at the ready, (not one you think of in the middle of the night and wished you’d said) who sees her point of view as the only valid one and will do anything to make sure everyone knows it. The type of person who’d enjoy grinding her stiletto heel into something precious you’d just dropped… and she’s called Francesca.
You have really thought about this, haven’t you! LOL, What is the funniest typo you’ve ever written?
Orgasm instead of organism.
I can see how that one can be quite funny in the wrong context! If you could be a character in any novel you’ve ever read, who would you be and why?
This is a difficult one and yet I think I’d go for Birkin in Women in Love. I had a real passion for Lawrence’s books and Birkin’s character resonated with me. Especially his thoughts about relationships.
I have not read this one, will have to check it out and there is a film too! Ok, disaster has struck and you are stranded on a desert island, you only have access to one author’s works, whose would it be?
Gosh, that’s really difficult. I suppose for the breadth of themes, genres and relevance I’d go for Shakespeare. Poetry and prose. It never ceases to amaze me how his works can be pertinent to us some 400 years later.
I like to make things difficult! Well you survived the island and how Netflix is knocking to make Hannah Weybridge into a TV show, would you want them too and who would you cast?
OMG yes! Did I shout that loudly enough for them to hear? To be honest I don’t think I’d make a great casting director and once a novel becomes a screenplay it moves into a different medium. I’m sure every reader sees Hannah and my other characters in a different way to me and in writing, I try not to be too specific about some details. The character lives on in the reader’s imagination and is no longer mine. This is a long-winded way of saying I don’t want the responsibility of getting the casting wrong!
I have a few people in my head who I would have…. ok sadly it’s the final question. What one question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview, and how would you answer it?
No one ever asks about my non-fiction. My first published book was in a history series: Women and Sport and the last was an ebook linked to my parenting website: Living with Teens. My approach is so different. For non-fiction, I plan out the whole book, chapter by chapter, section by section so that when it comes to writing it is easy to expand. The way I write my crime fiction is exactly the opposite. I write scenes as they come to me although the opening is usually well planned in advance. It takes a lot of time and effort, rewriting and structuring my novels and getting the timeline right so I’m wondering if I should take my non-fiction approach and see how that transpires.
Thank you so much Anne for answering my questions, it has been so much fun getting to know you better!
Until next time xxx