Christmas Awards 2011

Monday, 25 June 2007

Interview with Anne Bennett

I met Anne for the first time at the RNA lunch some years back. she was in a wheelchair then, and now she is walking. That is something remarkable I think, but Anne also writes fantastic books

Tell us a little about yourself
Hi , My name is Anne Bennett. And I am 58 years old and I have been married for over forty years. I have four children, three daughters and a son, now all grown up. Two are married and I have four grandchildren, three grandsons and a granddaughter, the eldest fifteen and the youngest six. I live in a very beautiful part of North Wales, which I love dearly. Unfortunately, my eldest daughter and son do not live close and as the children are now all school age, I see them only in the holidays.

Before I was a writer, I was a teacher... An accident in 1990 put paid to my career and landed me in a wheelchair. It was said I would never walk again, and we moved to our present house in 1993 and I began to write in earnest.

My first book was taken by Headline in 1997 followed by three more. In 2001 I parted company with Headline and was taken on by Harper Collins that same year. My eighth book with them, my twelfth over all and called "A Sister’s Promise" will be out in paperback ion 16th July 2007, followed by "A Daughter’s Secret" next year.

Meanwhile in August 2006, a special vibrating machine that I was using at a fitness centre I was attending broke through the fibrosis that was trapping the nerves running down my legs and I began to have feeling and then movement in my legs though it was many many painful weeks before it could be said that I was walking properly. Now, thankfully I am fully fit once more.

What do you write?
Historical Sagas. They sometimes span a number of years for example "A Daughter’s Secret" opens in 1901 and closes in 1943. My books are all based in Birmingham and/or Ireland as I was born in Birmingham of Roman Catholic, Irish parents.

Why do you write?
Because I must. There is a compulsion within me.

What are you writing now?
The books mentioned above "A Sister’s Promise" and "A Daughter’s Secret" are the first two books in a series about an Irish family called Sullivan who hail from a small town in Donegal in Ireland called Buncrana. Each book is about a member of that family and so at the moment I am writing the third in the series.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
Depends what I am doing. I like wearing my oldest jeans, boots and possibly waterproofs to walk my dog each morning and usually jeans and a tee shirt or sweater to work. I wear more stylish clothes when I am socialising or out with friends and I love the opportunity to really dress up.

Are you in love? Have you ever been?
What a question. Hasn’t every woman been in love at least once? I was lucky I married the man I fell in love with. Forty years on, the magic is still there,

Do you have a dream lover – and what does he look like?
I haven’t really though I thought Aragon from "Lord of the Rings" very tasty

What kind of comfort food do you like best?
Red wine, cheese and chocolate.

What makes you laugh? Cry?
Loads of things make me laugh. I might cry when I hear of the cruel things happening to ordinary human beings and the awful trials people have to cope with, like the parents of Madeleine abducted from her bed. Sometimes these things don’t make me sad. They make me angry.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
I have to produce a book every nine months and that together with the research needed for each book and the promotion means I have little free time. However, but I do walk my dog for an hour plus every morning on the beach and sand dunes near my house, I go to the gym once a week and love to read. On the other hand I enjoy all aspects of socialising with friends and I love having my family visit

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please
Looks are not that important but I like men with a strong personality, though they also have to be kind and considerate and have a good sense of humour.

What do you hate about life?
I hate nothing about my life. My glass is not just half full, it is overflowing. What I hate about life generally is violence of any kind and it is incomprehensible to me why people are so cruel to one another.

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
I have already achieved so much in life. As a child I had two ambitions, to write and to teach and I have managed to do both, and I would be happy if this series of books really takes off.

What are you going to write next?
The next book of the series. After that, a new contract will be under negotiation and the books I write them will be in the general area of what the publisher wants

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