Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the two hundred and seventy-second, is of mystery novelist interviewee Anne R. Allen. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at this blog’s author-spotlights page.
She believes she has a special gift for bumbling into comical situations.
Her real-life misadventures have inspired her six comic mysteries: Food Of Love, The Gatsby Game, and the Camilla Randall Mysteries: Ghostwriters In The Sky, Sherwood, Ltd, The Best Revenge and No Place Like Home. The first three Camilla books are available in a 3-for-1 priced boxed set.
She has also written a guidebook for authors with Catherine Ryan Hyde (author of the iconic novel Pay it Forward.) How To Be A Writer In The E-Age…And Keep Your E-Sanity!
Anne is also a poet and journalist. Her poetry most recently appeared in Compose literary journal’s debut issue. She also writes about environmental and social issues and is a big fan of Celtic and roots music.
She blogs with New York Times bestseller Ruth Harris at Anne R. Allen’s Blog…with Ruth Harris. Their blog was honored by Writers Digest in 2013 as one of the Best 101 Websites for Writers.
She’s a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the former artistic director of the Patio Playhouse in Escondido, CA.
And now from the author herself:
Writing was always my first love. My mom tells me that when she tried to educate me about the “facts of life” when I was around seven, I said I didn’t need to know that stuff because I was going to be a writer and live in a little cottage by the sea, so a husband and children would just get in the way.
I wrote stories from the time I could hold a crayon, but I didn’t try to get published for a long time, except getting a few poems into literary journals when I was in college.
Instead I was bitten by the theater bug and spent twenty years as an actor and director.
But when I hit forty, my father died suddenly and it was a wake-up call. I’d cleverly managed to lose the husband and skip the kids, but I realized that if I was ever going to realize my writing dream, I’d better get a move-on. So I gave up my theater job and used my inheritance to buy that little cottage by the sea.
My first novel, THE BEST REVENGE landed me an agent and an almost-deal with Bantam within the year. But everything fell apart when my potential editor left. I got discouraged and didn’t write for about five years.
But that writing bug wouldn’t let go of me, so I went back to pounding on the keyboard and knocking on agents’ doors. I filled a whole file drawer full of rejection letters before I got FOOD OF LOVE accepted by a maverick UK publisher operating out of an ancient ladies’ underwear factory on the banks of the River Trent. They invited me to come “over the pond” to promote the book and I stayed almost three years.
My mystery SHERWOOD, LTD. was inspired by those Midlands adventures. A lot of things happened there that were far more preposterous than anything I could put in a novel. One of the people I met there was related to a famous murderer. Another had been a pretty well-known punk rocker. And there was a whole lot more drinking going on than I could put in the book. (Drunks are pretty boring in fiction.)
The setting is close to accurate, but the characters aren’t based on real individuals. And of course my sleuth, down-on-her luck manners expert Camilla Randall is pure fiction.
The truth is life can be more outrageous than fiction. Fiction has to have a logic to it that real life doesn’t.
That publisher went under in 2006, and it took me another five years of collecting rejections to finally get into print again, but now I have seven successful books with another UK publisher, MWiDP.
I enjoy working with Brits, and my next Camilla book will be taking her back to Lincolnshire. I hope to get back there myself one of these days.
Oh, and I finally burned all those rejection slips in a big bonfire last year.
Really? I’m proud of mine but then I still have less then 30 so I might feel like that if it gets into treble figures. 🙂 Thank you, Anne. Do let me know if you come over. Lincolnshire is technically only the next county but one.
You can find more about Anne and her writing via…
- Anne R. Allen’s Blog
- Amazon.com author page
- Goodreads author page
- Facebook author page
- and Twitter
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As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. If there’s anything you’d like to take part in, take a look at Opportunities on this blog.
I welcome items for critique for the online writing groups listed below:
Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
We look forward to reading your comments.