Hi Anna – Welcome to my website. Please tell us a little more about yourself and your books?
I’m a visual writer, working on big canvases in different genres. My stories are driven by plot and character.
Originally from New Zealand I live in the U.K. with my Dutch partner. Dance, yoga, and writing are the threads that shape my life. I hold a Humanities B.A, a post-graduate diploma in Journalism and an M.A. in Dance Studies. Initially I worked as a radio journalist before a career in dance management working with U.K. Arts Councils and as an independent producer.
A documentary about pioneers of flamenco in the UK I produced and directed was screened in Marbella International Film Festival and in London. This passion project ensured a slice of cultural history has been captured. It is on YouTube, with a portal via my website. My screenplay Blind Eye, an eco-thriller, was joint winner of the 2020 Green Stories screenplay competition. This was first developed with support from Film Agency Wales before being revised and updated.
In 2021 I had two titles published by The Book Guild: Wayward Voyage, an historical novel inspired by pirate Anne Bonny, and Blind Eye, an environmental thriller: both adapted from my earlier screenplays. I am working on my third novel about a bog body find.
- Do you like to reflect a sense of place in your stories? If so, how/where?
Research is the backbone of my stories. For Wayward Voyage, an historical novel set in the early 18th century, I spent two weeks on a tall ship learning to handle ropes and experience going aloft; travelled to Charleston, where my early story is set; read many history books; visited the public records archives in south London to access documents relating to governance of the Bahamas. With Blind Eye, my environmental thriller, specialists (environmental and political) advised me.
- What prompted your latest novel/story?
We are all aware of environmental damage to our planet. Blind Eye, set in the Indonesian rainforest is about illegal logging. While a page-turner, with lots of action, it is about a serious subject. My partner is a founder member of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) promoting responsible forestry, via him I know quite a lot about this. I first wrote Blind Eye as a screenplay in 2008, then more recently realized the story deserved to be updated as both screenplay and novel. At least my novel is out in the world!
- What’s your earliest writing memory?
Filling exercise book after exercise book with a story about kids putting on a theatre show. I must have been around ten, and dance and performance where things I loved doing. I enjoyed reading Noel Steatfeild’s books (Ballet Shoes, Theatre Shoes) and watching black and white musical movies: Fred Astaire etc.
- How do you keep yourself motivated when your writing doesn’t flow?
I create an outline of my stories before I start writing. This gets more and more detailed with scene-by-scene analysis. It really helps to take an objective look at what is there and what might help, or I might remind myself of key character traits I have constructed and think about how my characters might respond in a given situation.
- Can you visualise your characters? If so – which actors would play your two favourites?
What a fun question! I love film, and after all both of my published novels were first screenplays. I’ll pick Susan Sarandon to play Linda in Blind Eye and I reckon Anya Taylor-Joy could cut it as pirate Anne Bonny in Wayward Voyage.
Any Special Offers just now?
Yes! Heads-up!! A free copy of either Wayward Voyage or Blind Eye is up for grabs. At the end of November, I’ll be reaching into my pirate hat to pick a name of EVERYONE subscribed to my newsletter and will announce the winner at the beginning of December. If to be delivered within the UK I’ll post a signed paperback, otherwise the winner will receive a digital version. You can subscribe to my monthly newsletter here:
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