Featured Interview With Anne Allen
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
Hello! I’m a Brit, born in the middle of England in a place called Rugby. You may have heard of it as it’s the birthplace of the ball game so beloved around the world, thanks to a man called Webb Ellis. I’m not into ball games but never mind. ☺
My father wasn’t a local, but a Welshman from Anglesey, in North Wales, where we holidayed through my childhood and beyond. This was where I learned to love the sea, my grandparents owned the village shop just a few hundred yards from the beach – idyllic for us children. So I’ve spent my adulthood moving around, living by the sea in Scotland, Guernsey and Spain. I now live in Devon, on the south coast of England, to be close to my daughter and two small grandchildren. One son lives in Guernsey and one in London. I was a psychotherapist for many years and loved working so closely with people, but have now settled to writing full-time.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I loved books as soon as I could read and would visit the local library every Saturday morning to exchange borrowed books for new ones. My family were not ‘bookish’ so not sure where my fascination came from, and as soon as I earned money, I would buy my own books.
Although I enjoyed writing essays at school, I never really gave much thought to becoming a writer. My ambition was to find a good job with security before marrying and having a family. I was a single parent for many years and had no time for writing until about eleven years ago. I entered a 500-word true story competition in a UK national magazine and won. This spurred me on to write my first novel, Dangerous Waters, published in 2012.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I have eclectic taste, veering from pure romance when I was, ahem, younger, to suspense, thriller, mystery and historical fiction. Authors I’ve enjoyed include Mary Higgins Clark, Robert Goddard, Joanna Trollope, Maeve Binchy and Erica James, CJ Sansom, Barbara Erskine and William Boyd.
I’m not sure there’s anyone author who inspires me, I think I soak up so much from all the books I read and it forms a melting-pot of ideas. I would aspire to write as well as authors like Barbara Erskine or Mary Higgins Clark.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My most recent book is ‘Echoes of Time’, book 5 in what is now known as The Guernsey Novels, for the obvious reason that they are all set in Guernsey, where I lived for many years. It’s a beautiful island a few miles off the coast of France but is British. My books are my personal homage to both the island and the people I learnt to call friends.
Each book has a standalone story, but they are linked by characters who pop up occasionally, like one big family. The Germans occupied Guernsey and the other Channel Islands during WWII, and this has played a huge part in forming the islanders’ psyche as well as affecting the geography.
‘Echoes of Time’ is a time-slip story, set between WWII and the present day. The focus is on Olive, a farmer’s wife in the 1940s and Natalie, a woman who buys the renovated farmhouse once belonging to Olive. Natalie soon feels uneasy after she moves in, hearing a disembodied voice, finding objects moved and experiencing horrifying and realistic dreams. She forms an uneasy friendship with Stuart, Olive’s grandson who lives in the nearby Old Barn, and they set out to find out what really happened to Olive, who disappeared in the 1980s.
This is the first time-slip novel I’ve written and I enjoyed all the necessary research as well as the writing, which took about nine months. Oh, and there’s a ghost!
Connect with the Author on their Websites and Social media profiles