Please help me welcome, new author, Annika Perry! Annika is here today to introduce herself and her first book, The Storyteller Speaks.
Thank you for coming today, Annika. I’m excited to hear about your book and look forward to reading it.
Once again thank you so much, Janice, for your offer to feature my book – I really appreciate it.
You are welcome, Annika. Now the floor is yours.
1. When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
As so many, the writing bug struck me as young. After completing my stories, my mother would type them up for me, photocopy them and I’d release the ‘book’ to friends and family!
One particular teacher was key in encouraging my writing and helping me believe in my ability. Mr Kewley was passionate about teaching, finding the best in the pupils and he loved books and stories: an interest he happily shared with us all. He was also a teacher who lost his battle with cancer two years after he started teaching.
JSpina: That is too bad about your teacher. He must have been an exceptional influence with your writing.
2. What process do you need in order to write?
First of all, I need quiet and calm around me. It’s impossible for me to write with music or other noise or if I’m continually being interrupted.
Therefore, I most often write early in the morning when everyone is asleep or when my husband and son have gone to work/school. Then I will start with a clean page, sharpened pencils and my favourite pens. All set and ready to write…waiting for the muse to visit!
3. How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
This is a great question and I often wonder this about other writers, musicians and artists. My son feels the same and at his suggestion, I incorporated into my book a small section on what inspired me to write some of the stories.
Ideas can strike me from anywhere and anything. Sometimes I will overhear a conversation and that will be my starting point. Other times a news story will be the beginning of a story idea as my imagination carries the idea way beyond the actual events.
JSpina: I think we authors all find inspiration in different ways. As long as we find it.
4. What projects are you currently working on?
My latest project is a creative writing piece, inspired by the ‘homework’ set by my writing group. It is to be a descriptive piece set in one place. My thoughts took me to my recent favourite descriptive book set in one location; the wonderful ‘the outermost House’ by Henry Beston, which is stunning and about A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod. I am writing a shorter work centred on 24 hours along the beach in East Florida where I stayed on holiday last September; the coast never ceased to fascinate me!
Other projects include rewriting my two children’s stories and preparing them for publication.
JSpina: Good luck with your projects. I look forward to seeing them when published.
5. What do you expect to accomplish in 2018?
I want to publish my first full-length novel, ‘Island Girl’ and just have to buckle down to those final edits before sending it out to beta readers etc.
I also have a friend who is an amazing illustrator and she is interested in working on my two children stories, so hopefully they can also be published in 2018.
JSpina: It sounds like you will have a busy and productive year ahead. Please stop by again to share your new books when published.
6. What hobbies do you have when you are not writing?
My most recent hobby is playing the piano…I’m a beginner but already love it! It takes me away from everything! I also love being outdoors and am a keen walker. Gardening is another favourite hobby and I do enjoy pottering around amongst the trees, flowers and attacking the weeds! Once back indoors I happily curl up with a good book and hot chocolate!
JSpina: Good for you learning how to play the piano. We all need some diversions to stir up our creativity.
7. What is your target audience for your book?
Anyone who is interested in it!
Seriously, this is a difficult and contentious issue. I honestly feel it doesn’t target just any one audience group. I have older teenagers, both male and female, wanting to buy the book. Furthermore, there are many women of all ages who are keen to read it, as well as men who are also interested. I think the main criteria for potential readers is that they have a love of stories and are willing to be carried away by them in their imagination.
JSpina: Good answer, Annika.
8. What advice would you give prospective authors?
This question makes me smile as I never quite believed the day would come when someone would be asking me this!!
Don’t knock yourself so hard…because I know you will. All writers do! Write, make it a habit but if you have an off day, accept it, do something else and that will often end up the day you find inspiration elsewhere.
Finally, once you’ve written a piece – step back. Give it some room, give your mind some time away from your work so when you approach it to edit, it’s from a new fresh perspective.
JSpina: I’m sure prospective authors will appreciate your advice.
9. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Just that although it might seem impossible to be published, you can do it! Nobody said it would be easy though…be prepared for a lot of hard work!
JSpina: You are right about that – it is hard work.
Although writing has been a lifetime passion for Annika, her route to full-time writing has been circuitous. She formerly worked within journalism and the timber trade before severe illness followed by motherhood gave her an opportunity to pursue her dream.
Winning First Prize in a ‘Writing Magazine’ short story competition was the much-needed impetus and confidence booster for Annika to complete her first novel, ‘Island Girl’, which is currently in its final editing stages. ‘The Storyteller Speaks’ is Annika’s first published book. Furthermore, she has completed two, as yet unpublished, books for younger children.
As well as writing, Annika is an avid reader (a world without books is unimaginable to her), a keen gardener, walker and she enjoys travel (in spite of her well-documented fear of flying!)
For the past three years blogging has been an important part of her life and she deeply values the friendships formed on WordPress.
Annika lives in the South East of England with her husband and teenage son.
It only takes one event to change a life. What is that action, decision, occurrence? Whose life is affected? Changed forever?
In this eclectic mix of 21 short stories, flash fiction and poetry the pendulum swings between first love and murder, from soul-destroying grief to reconciliation. The tales veer from the sweet satisfaction of revenge to new beginnings, from heart-breaking miscarriages of justice to heart-warming Christmas misadventure.
One common thread binds them all; the belief that there is no such thing as an ordinary life; they’re all extraordinary.
Open your hearts and minds as The Storyteller Speaks.
Here are some links:
Thank you for coming today, Annika. Your book looks lovely and the blurb really caught my attention. I’m sure it will do well.
Thank you, readers, for stopping by to read about Annika Perry’s new book! I hope you will check it out on Amazon today. It would make a perfect Christmas gift!
Remember: Reading Gives You Wings to Fly! Soar with Jemsbooks.com into 2018!
Give the gift of a book this year! Readers – please remember to review – it’s better than any gift you can give to an author!
MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Blessings & hugs into 2018!