Monday, 10 August 2015

Meet the Author - Anne Allen

About Me – Anne Allen

It’s a lovely treat to be able to write about myself rather than writing a book. Just have to remember this is fact not fiction☺

I thought it would be an idea to focus on how I became a writer and the background to my first book, Dangerous Waters, which metamorphosed into book one of The Guernsey Novels. So here goes . . .

I’ve always had an ‘itch’ in the back of my head to write a book and friends had for years told me that I should.  This was probably more to do with the fact that my life could not be described as boring! I did, in fact, start to write my life story but somehow just couldn’t get in to it. I may have another go one day when I no longer have to protect the guilty!  Ironically my first stab at ‘real’ writing was an entry into a national competition run by Prima magazine a few years ago. They wanted a 500 word true-life story describing a life-changing event. My mother ‘pushed’ me into entering, thinking it was a fiction piece they wanted and thought it would encourage me to get on with my novel. Anyway, from being a reluctant entrant I emerged as the winner and collected £500 of M&S vouchers. Not bad for starters, I thought, with my eye on the bigger picture of novel writing. I was encouraged to realise I could write and so began my journey as a novelist.

This happened about nine years ago, at a time in my life when I could finally sit down, pen in hand, and write. I was a single mother of three and, together with my day job as a psychotherapist, was kept pretty busy. Now, not only had the birds flown the nest but I was about to become a grandmother. Talk about new beginnings☺ My book’s gestation was six months and my granddaughter was born three months later. However, I didn’t know then that it would take another six years to raise my baby to independence and emergence into the outside world . . .

I was born in Rugby but learnt early on that I was drawn to be 'beside the seaside'. My father was from the lovely island of Anglesey, North Wales, and every summer we would visit my grandparents who ran a village shop in Rhosneigr, a short walk from a fantastic beach. It was idyllic for children and as an adult I ventured around the country, my own children in tow, looking for the perfect home by the sea. After living in Scotland, Devon, Guernsey and Spain, I'm now settled in Devon again, to be near my daughter and two small grandchildren. But I still have dreams of a holiday home somewhere warm, like Spain. We can always dream, can't we? ☺

Dangerous Waters is set on the beautiful island of Guernsey and is a romantic mystery. The story covers love, loss and the tragedy that has befallen the central character, Jeanne Le Page. My inspiration came from having just read a book about another small island near France. It had echoes of Guernsey, where I had lived for many happy years and which still occupies a large part of my heart. In fact, I managed to leave a son behind in order to provide a valid reason for frequent returns! I felt comfortable with basing my story there as I knew the island – and some of its history – so well. The Occupation still has a significant impact on modern-day Guernsey and I wanted to make reference to that awful time even though the thrust of the story is set in the present day.

The second book, Finding Mother, is a romance/family drama, revolving around Nicole who seeks her birth mother when she hits a crisis in her marriage.

The third, Guernsey Retreat, is another romantic mystery and centres on Louisa who needs to find the father she's never met after her mother dies suddenly.

My latest book, The Family Divided, was  published in June 2015 and is a romantic mystery/family drama. The story sees Andy Batiste, a Guernsey-man, attempting to uncover the truth behind the rift in the family which has cost his father his rightful inheritance. He is offered the help of Charlotte Townsend, a publisher and would-be writer who is staying at a luxury health resort in Guernsey and has issues of her own to resolve.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Nikki, for allowing me the space to chat about myself ☺