Today Annemarie Allan is sharing #TenThings she’d like her reders to know about her. I had hoped to be able to share a review of her new book Breaker from my young niece, but I haven’t been able to see her to pass the book on. So a review will follow at some point and in the meantime, read on to find out more about Annemarie.
At the age of 40, I decided it was time to take my writing seriously and start sending things out. It took 15 more years before I held one of my books in my hands. One thing that writing teaches you is persistence!
It’s not deliberate, but every one of my published books has been a different genre: Hox is science fiction, Ushig is fantasy, Charlie’s Promise is a historical novel and Breaker is an environmental thriller (with a bit of science fiction thrown in). My current work in progress is a ghost story. Not sure what I’ll do next – I haven’t done crime…or romance.
I don’t just write novels about young people. I also write short stories. Here’s a sample:
I am building a house in my head.
It has strong foundations, sunk deep in the earth. Walls of solid stone, well-mortared and built to last. The slates on the roof fit tightly, each one snug against its neighbour. There is no chimney.
I have stout locks on the doors and shutters on the windows. No kitchen. No bathtub, no toilet. I have no need of them, not any more. My rooms are unfurnished. I fill the space with the memories I choose to keep. I wander among them, my feet silent on the solid wood floors. Below me is the cellar, filled with abandoned dreams.
No house of straw or sticks for me. The big bad wolf will not find his way in from the world outside. No harm can come to me here.
I am building a house in my head.
I really wish I was one of those people who write one or two thousand words a day, but I’m a very slow writer. I’m grateful when I manage two thousand in a week.
I find the first draft of a story a huge challenge, but I love the edits, when I get the chance to smooth out all the bumps.
Sometimes ideas come from something that interests me, like folklore, but sometimes the trigger for a story comes out of the blue, when something in my daily life triggers a ‘what if…’ moment.
I don’t plan a story in detail beforehand, although I do have an idea of where I’m going to end up. And I don’t write in sequence, I write the scenes as they come into my head, sometimes the beginning, sometimes the middle. It gives me a direction to aim for. If I have to drop something that doesn’t fit any more, I always feel regretful when I do. It’s an anarchic, often scary process, but it (usually) works for me!
I belong to a writers’ group. It’s a mixture of dedicated writers and those who write purely for personal pleasure. It’s a marvellous support, both challenging and rewarding. I highly recommend it!
I have been an avid reader since I was first introduced to the library, aged 5. And I love fantasy. For some reason, people often assume that fantasy is easy to write, but the opposite is true. It takes a huge amount of skill to persuade a reader to accept an alternative reality. A quick pick of fantasy writers I really rate would include Sheri Tepper, Jane Yolen, Diana Wynne Jones and, more recently, Frances Hardinge. I do not own a kindle. For me, the printed book itself is part of the experience of reading
I love: the outdoors, my garden, my family. I hate: prejudice, arrogance, housework. Music often makes me cry.
Thanks to Kelly at Love Books Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour and to the publisher Cranachan for the advance copy. Breaker is available now and you can order directly from the publishers here: Breaker
From the back of the book
An environmental disaster. An undersea adventure.
Tom and Beth are not happy when they move to Scotland and find themselves facing a rainy, windswept beach, a house that’s falling to pieces, and a school full of strangers.
But when an oil tanker crashes into the Bass Rock, their small seaside town is shaken to its core and Tom and Beth suddenly find themselves in a race to rescue the local sea life and save their new community from environmental catastrophe…
About the author
Annemarie Allan’s first published novel, Hox, won the 2007 Kelpies Prize and was shortlisted for both the Scottish Children’s Book of the Year and the Heart of Hawick book awards. Her third novel, Ushig, a fantasy based on Scottish myths and legends, was shortlisted for the 2011 Essex Children’s Book Award.
She writes for both adults and children and her novels and short stories range from fantasy and science fiction to historical and contemporary fiction, taking their inspiration from the landscape and culture of Scotland, both past and present. Annemarie lives in Prestonpans, near Edinburgh.
At Cranachan Publishing we focus on sourcing the finest, freshest writing so that we can produce books that our readers will want to devour in one sitting.
Making sure that Cranachan serves up mouth-watering books, Anne Glennie, as the founder and director, is head of the clan. With a degree in English Language and Literature, she has always been passionate about reading, learning and books.