As we gear up for this amazing event, I’ll be bringing you author interviews so you can get to know the attending authors in more detail! There are lots and lots of authors for you to discover, not to mention, hundreds if not thousands of books! Why not grab a cuppa and sit back and relax! All while hearing more about our writers and their writing lives, inspirations – and maybe even a secret or two!
What is the first thing people should know about you?
My books are set in Beverley, where I live. I’m a Londoner by birth but I’ve lived in Yorkshire for nearly fifteen years, and I’m a total convert!
Tell me which genre or trope you are most well-known for writing.
The best description would be cosy crime. My books feature the same detectives but they’re told from the point of view of the protagonists, who are female, feisty and usually up to no good!
What is one thing people don’t know about you?
In the dim and distant past I wrote/co-wrote several children’s musicals, including The Hobbit and James Bond. I was particularly proud of a song called Shaken, not Stirred!
Name a book you’ve written that you wish more people had read, and why.
The Soloist – because it’s just out and I want it to do well.
What is your favourite book (not your own), and why?
This is a hard one – can I have two? My favourite book ever is Of Mice and Men, because it’s about people that feel real. The hero, George, is a good man but not perfect. But my writing heroine is Agatha Christie, and I can’t not pick The Murder of Roger Ackroyd for the obvious reason, which I’ll avoid in case anyone reading this hasn’t read it yet, but also for the wonderful Mah Jong scene – it’s hilarious.
Are you one of those authors for whom music is EVERYTHING and without it you’d never write?
No, which is weird really, because I spend most of the day listening to my husband play the piano while I write and I’m a musician of sorts myself. I need music in my life but not in order to write – I’m just as happy working in silence.
Is your desk/writing space tidy or messy?
It’s often quite tidy but there are regular spells of messiness, especially when I’m planning a book, when it’s covered in bits of paper, index cards and post-its. I do try hard to keep it tidy, though, and it’s big, so that helps!
Who or what inspires you as a writer?
Agatha Christie – her plotting is amazing, and she reveals a huge amount about her characters in just a few words. I’ve just read her autobiography where she reveals all sorts of stuff about herself that endears me to her, such as she was a good pianist, loved numbers and didn’t call herself a writer for years.
Are you an introvert or extrovert? Or something else…?
I look like an extrovert, but it’s all a front really, I’ve made myself able to be that way over the years.
The literary world moves fast, but what’s the one thing that never changes?
You can’t beat a good plot. And without characters to care about, there’s no point in writing anything.
What is your advice to authors just starting out?
Don’t just write – try to learn first, whether through a ‘real’ or online writing course, reading a book or talking to other authors. I didn’t do that, and the result was 3 useless versions of my own book before I managed to produce one that was halfway to being readable.
Where is your favourite place to go on holiday?
The Lake District or Scotland – I’m can’t resist the combination of water, space and mountains.
If you could live inside any fictional world, where would that be?
None – I like the real one.
Your favourite place to read and/or write?
In the garden. But when the weather’s not good enough, which is most of the time, at my desk, which looks out over the garden so it still feels like I’m in it. I think it’s where Lilian, the narrator of my first book, The Botanist would write if she was an author.
Who is your biggest cheerleader?
My husband. Whenever I feel like giving up he always tells me my books are wonderful, which is especially nice of him when you remember that ‘The Soloist’, my second book, starts with a pianist being murdered.
BONUS Q. Tell me a secret about one of your books that nobody else knows yet!
In an earlier version of The Botanist DI Ronnie Twist rides a Harley Davidson. Perhaps she still does – it might come up in the next book!
Thank you so much for your time, Anne! To find out more, visit –
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