Hi Anne and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?
Firstly, thanks for inviting me onto your blog, Jo, it’s lovely to join such super authors on Tuesday Talk.
I’m a retired psychotherapist and hypnotherapist; a mother of three grown-up children and grandmother to two small ones living close-by. Only really happy when by the sea, I’ve moved around a great deal to ensure that’s where I live ☺
How did your writing career begin?
Although I’d often had the ‘itch’ to write, particularly enjoying writing the essays for my OU degree (!), I never seemed to have the time or motivation to start. Then, about eleven years ago, I was pushed into entering a 500 word true-life story competition in Prima magazine and amazed myself by winning. This spurred me on to start the novel which became the first in The Guernsey Novels series, ‘Dangerous Waters’. I was a complete beginner and knew nothing about how to write but thoroughly enjoyed the process. It was only after receiving a couple of professional critiques, one from the RNA NWS scheme, that I realised I had a way to go if I wanted to see the book published. So began many re-writes and edits. Having no joy with agents, although some offered encouragement, I took the plunge and self-published in 2012 under my own imprint, Sarnia Press.
Who are your favourite authors and have any of them inspired your writing in any way?
My list of favourite authors has changed over the years as I’ve matured and acquired different reading tastes. I’ve loved books by Maeve Binchy, Joanna Trollope, Erica James, Katie Fforde, Robert Goddard, Mary Higgins Clark, CJ Ransome and Barbara Erskine. My stories focus on relationships, family dramas and mysteries, including a touch of dual-time and time-slip. My inspiration comes from across the board, but I feel I owe most to Erica, Maeve and Barbara.
Your books are set in Guernsey. Is there any other favourite location you might use in the future?
Mmm. At the moment I can’t see that happening as I love writing about Guernsey, having lived there for many happy years. I’m now in Devon so that’s a possibility one day …
If money were no object, where in the world would you take a very special holiday?
Oooh, choices, choices! I’ve been lucky enough to travel to some fabulous places over the years, but would love to visit India and China. Their ancient cultures are so intriguing and their modern so different to ours, I’m bound to have a wonderful time.
Are you able to tell us a little about what you are working on at the moment?
Yes, it’s number 7 in the series (all standalone stories, but with links to each other) and titled ‘The Inheritance’. In the other books I’ve referred to events of the German Occupation in tandem with the present, but this story goes back to Victorian times, when Victor Hugo lived as an exile in Guernsey. It’s dual-time, and the Victorian element concerns a young widow, Eugenie, who is befriended by Victor Hugo and his mistress Juliette Drouet and becomes his copyist. She lives in Hauteville, near Hugo’s house and her life becomes involved in theirs. Eugenie finds him charismatic, becoming more and more drawn to him. She reminds Hugo of his beloved, dead daughter, Léopoldine, and he sees her as a reincarnation of his child. In the present day, Tess, a doctor, inherits Eugenie’s house from a great-aunt, the family being direct descendants of hers. The family myth has always been that Eugenie was Hugo’s mistress, bearing his child. Tess finds Eugenie’s journals, hidden since the late nineteenth century, and learns the truth behind the myth.
And lastly, you have been invited onto I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. Name four celebrities you would like to share the jungle with.
Can I just say, nothing would ever tempt me to do this in real life! But, hypothetically speaking, I’d choose Colin Firth – for his manly presence – Dawn French ¬– for a laugh – Bear Grylls – to do the yucky stuff – and Daniel Craig – to get me out of there!
Author Page on Amazon: http://Author.to/AnneAllen
Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children, and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. 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 was a psychotherapist, but long had the itch to write. Now a full-time writer, she has written The Guernsey Novels, six having been published and the seventh, The Inheritance, is due out in 2018.