donderdag 27 september 2012

Interview with Anne Allen and GIVEAWAY

First of all I want to thank Anne Allen for taking some time to do this interview and for giving us the opportunity to give two e-book versions of "Dangerous Waters" away. Enjoy!

Who is Anne Allen?

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 a second novel is gestating, but novels take a lot longer than children to be born!

Some things we'd liked to know...  

What's so special about Guernsey that you wrote an entire book about it?

It’s a beautiful island only a few miles from the French coast though it’s actually British. I think all islands have a certain mystique and a feeling of separateness and Guernsey is a great example of this, with a fascinating history going back to Neolithic times. There’s a strong French influence, reflected in the personal and place names and there’s a local Guernsey-French dialect. I lived there for many happy years after arriving for a holiday and falling in love with both the island and its people. Guernsey has beautiful sandy beaches, cliff walks, windy lanes and a pretty ‘capital’ in St Peter Port. The Channel Islands were occupied by the Germans in WWII, creating an impact to the present day. There’s definitely scope for stories to be based on Guernsey!

What places on the island do we need to visit when we go there and why?

Well, St Peter Port is a must – it has something for everyone. There are narrow cobbled streets full of great shops, cafes and restaurants and gorgeous views over the harbour and neighbouring islands. I’m sure you’ve all heard of Les Miserables and Victor Hugo finished writing the book while living in St Peter Port and his house is still exactly as it was back in the nineteenth century. The beaches are all worth visiting but I particularly like L’Ancresse and Lady’s Bay in the north of the island. And don’t miss Herm! It’s an even smaller island 15 mins away by boat which has an atmosphere all of its own. There are no cars or bikes so everyone walks around at their own pace. A place to really unwind and which always seems to enjoy even better weather than Guernsey. 

What got you into writing and when did you start it?

About 6 years ago I entered a writing competition after being pushed by my mother. Bless her! She thought it would be a useful experience as I’d always talked about writing one day. It wasn’t fiction, though, instead the national magazine wanted a true-life story in 500 words based on a significant life event. I still entered (my life had been anything but boring) and won. It was quite a boost and spurred me on to write Dangerous Waters shortly after.

Will there be other books written by you? Are you currently working on a project? 

Yes, I’m writing my second book, Finding Mother, now. It’s the story of a young woman’s search for her natural mother after her marriage crumbles. The setting is predominantly Guernsey but there are excursions to England, Jersey and Spain.

Which writers have influenced you the most?

It’s hard to be specific as I’ve read voraciously since a child. The romance writers whose books I’ve most enjoyed have been Maeve Binchy, Erica James and Katie Fforde. Mystery and suspense writers include Mary Higgins Clark and Robert Goddard.

What's your favourite place to write a book?

In my own space – either at my desk or a table , or, weather permitting, in the garden. I wouldn’t be able to concentrate if I was out and about in a cafĂ©, for example.

Do you have certain habits when it comes to writing? Some things you need around you during the process?

I like to know I’ll be uninterrupted! If the muse arrives, you have to keep her close. So it’s better to have all other ‘jobs’ out of the way before sitting down to write. I start by writing in longhand so need paper and pen and space to spread out. Plenty of water and hot drinks are also needed to keep me going.

What's your writing day like?

It varies. If my time is unlimited I’ll just sit down to write until either I’m hungry or I hit a ‘block’. I can write for hours at a time on a good day, otherwise it tends to be a bit patchy.

Did you base your main character Jeanne on someone you know? She looks so real (and she writes ;) )...

Well, in some ways she does remind me of my younger self! Although we naturally don’t share the same history, I can relate to some of her experiences. But I didn’t consciously base her on anyone I’ve known.

What would you like to have achieved in 10 years?

To have written a few more books and be a ‘successful’ author.

Thank you Anne Allen for this great interview and I don't think it'll be a problem to be a 'successful' author in 10 years. We'll help you by reading your books and loving them!

How to win "Dangerous Waters" by Anne Allen?

The only thing you have to do to win an e-book (we'll pick 2 random winners - worldwide) is leave a comment on this post with your e-mail address in it. The giveaway ends sunday 07/10 at 11 a.m. (Belgian time).

Bonus entries
If you'd like to have more chances to win this book, you can add these things in your comment (all entries can be in one post):

1. What's the place you'd like to live most of all? Why?
2. Follow this blog and say you're a follower.
3. Follow Anne Allen on Twitter and say you're a follower.
4. Follow us on Twitter and say you're a follower.
5. Share this giveaway on your Blog or Twitter and give us a link.

 Like to learn something more about Anne Allen and her book? Please visit these sites:

7 opmerkingen:

  1. Hi!
    I'd like to thank Eline for her great job in hosting my interview and the giveaway. I do hope lots of readers will enter the comp and I wish you all the best of luck.

  2. Great interview! this book sounds awesome!
    New follower!

  3. Great interview! I actually haven't heard of Anne before but I definitely am checking out the books she wrote now :) I went to France one time and it was gorgeous and it's so cool this book is based off of something kind of French-ish lol ;) since it's British. :P Oh well

  4. Thanks to all of you! Appreciate it :D

  5. Thanks for the interview with Anne Allen. I always enjoy learning about others and how their writing makes them tick. I know I enjoy writing as my creative outlet, it's good to see others with the same intrest. Love you blog, btw, Eline, and I am now a happy follower. :-) Good luck to Anne and her books!