Getting to Know the Author: Anne Allen

ImageImageWelcome, Anne. Let’s get to know more about you.

What is your genre? Why did you choose it?

 I write sub-genres of romance. My first book, Dangerous Waters, is a romantic mystery and my second, Finding Mother, a romantic family drama. I feel that ‘romance’ is a bit limiting as a description as I’m writing about relationships, both familial and sexual. As a psychotherapist, I’ve always been fascinated by people and how we relate to one another, as well as cope with trauma and tragedy.

 

Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?

 

Only in that I might be editing a final version of one book while writing another. I do find that I’m less able to multi-task these days and prefer concentrating on one task at a time. Put it down to anno dominiJ

 

Do you work with a writing/critique group?

 

I have done in the past. When I was writing Dangerous Waters I felt very much the naïve ‘newbie’ and joined various classes and groups. Since then I’ve moved and haven’t found the right sort of group but bounce my ideas off an author friend. She soon tells me if I’ve lost the plot!

 

Can you remember your first reading book?

 

Probably the ubiquitous ‘Janet and John’ at primary school. Boring! My parents were not readers and we had no books in the house. Once I’d learnt to read I made weekly trips to the library to borrow as many books as I could. My favourite books at junior school were the Mallory Towers books by Enid Blyton. I so wanted to go to boarding school! I think the modern equivalent are the Harry Potter books which are pure escapism and really stretch a child’s imagination.

 

Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat?

 

Try not to! Sometimes I do need ‘brain food’ and go for a banana or a small bag of fruit and nuts.

 

Tidy desk or a bombsite? Describe your writing area with us.

 

Definitely bomb-site! The problem isn’t that I’m untidy(!) it’s that my desk and study are just not big enough. I write in what was the single bedroom of my house and the desk and adjoining file drawers house my all-in-one computer (large 23″ screen), keyboard, all-in-one printer, stereo, orchid plant and phone. There’s not much room left for my notepads etc. I used to write by hand first but had to give up when I developed arthritis in my thumb joints, resulting in an operation earlier this year. To reduce the strain on my hands I now only type but it’s not as intuitive as writing by hand.

 

ImageAre you published in the traditional manner or self published? Share your journey.

 

Self-published. I spent many years trying to find an agent and finally bit the bullet and became an indie early 2012. I used a publisher, Matador, who did a lot of the work for me, but It was expensive and I still ended up in charge of marketing. I learnt a lot from that experience and this year set up my own publishing company, Sarnia Press, to publish Finding Mother. My books are available in print and ebook so there’s a lot of marketing involved, both in the flesh and online. I do feel it takes me away from my writing and would love to have someone market my books for me – and for free, of course J

 

Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?

 

I’ve always had eclectic taste in my reading so it’s hard to pin it down to three authors. I devoured everything by Maeve Binchy, Erica James and Robert Goddard; Goddard’s thrillers being rather a contrast to the ‘women’s fiction’ of the other two!

 

What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?

 

Accept that the first draft is just that – a draft. Not much more than the bare bones of the story and will need a great deal of fleshing out, and paradoxically, pruning back before it’s ready for the outside world. I send my loosely edited work to a few beta readers before looking for a professional edit. That way a number of issues can be addressed before the need to pay an editor.

 

If the movie rights to your novels are purchased, who would you like to play your main characters?

Gemma Arterton would be wonderful as Nicole and Tom Hiddleston gorgeous as Ben.

 

I was on my way to the supermarket, when … Do you have a tale to tell relating to an everyday, boring event?

 

Well, a few years ago I lived on a Dutch barge, moored on the river in a marina at Bath. My barge was attached to a floating pontoon and the gang plank rose with the water level. One January I had to go and visit my mother in the midlands and packed my case ready the night before. When I woke the next morning the river had flooded – delayed reaction from heavy rain the day before. I was stuck! Phoned the marina office and they sent for the fire brigade! Shortly after, a large rib holding four strapping firemen, chugged up the river and helped me aboard, complete with case and laptop. They then motored the few hundred yards round to the marina itself and helped me disembark. Although a little embarrassed that many eyes watched my disembarkation, I did enjoy the attention of the hunky firemen.

Wow, what a wonderful result to a horrid event! Thanks for sharing. Hunky fireman … dreamy!

 

Bio

Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. She was born in Rugby, to an English mother and Welsh father. As a result she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learnt to love the sea.  Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.

By profession Anne is a psychotherapist but has long had creative ‘itches’, learning to mosaic, paint furniture, interior design and sculpt. At the back of her mind the itch to write was always present but seemed too time-consuming for a single mum with a need to earn a living. Now the nest is empty there’s more time to write and her first novel, Dangerous Waters, was published in 2012 and the second, Finding Mother, in 2013. A third, Guernsey Retreat, is due to be published in 2014.

Website: http://www.anneallen.co.uk

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About Glynis Smy

I live in the UK, in the seaside town of, Dovercourt~Harwich, where I enjoy writing novels. I've written historical romance/suspense, Medical romance and my latest WIP is in the crime genre. The Victorian era fascinates me and the best part of writing a novel is often the research. Proud writing moments in my life: Shortlisted for Festival of Romance Fiction 2014 New Talent Award Reaching second round of Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2014 Maggie's Child: reached #1 Amazon best-seller: Historical Romance Victorian /February 2014/ebook & book paid list. May 2014 #3 Historical Romance Victorian, and #25 in Historical Romance paid top 100 best-seller list. Top 100 in three categories on Amazon UK best-seller listings in 2015. Seeing my books in a Suffolk (UK), library. Over the years I've written short stories in a variety of genres. I've also won a few poetry contests, my first was at the age of twelve, (a poem about the Bangladeshi war). I also won a children's short story competition where the prize was a first-aid box, I was so proud but my husband found it amusing because we owned two pharmacies. My articles have been published in magazines both in the UK and Cyprus. I am also featured in various places on-line. When I am not writing, I enjoy making greetings cards, Cross Stitch, fishing and the company of my little granddaughters.
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5 Responses to Getting to Know the Author: Anne Allen

  1. anneallen21 says:

    Hi Glynis
    Just wanted to thank you for the interview. I found it such fun to answer your questions 🙂
    Anne

  2. Glynis – Thanks for introducing us to Anne.

    Anne – Thanks for sharing a bit of your writing life with us. I’m sure your background in therapy has given you a lot of insight into character development and family relationships. I wish you much success.

  3. Nice to meet you, Anne. Wonderful answers!

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