The Writer’s Corner…an interview with author, Ann Purser (part 1)

authors, writing, writers, interviews                  Do other writers (like me)  sometimes find themselves  at 4 in the afternoon still in their pajamas, writing furiously?  Do all of their #2 pencils have to be sharpened before they can begin?

I thought my readers might enjoy hearing about other authors writing processes.  So I created a Question & Answer-type Interview and then began contacting some of my favorite authors to ask them to participate.  The response has been wonderful and I can’t wait to share it with you.

My first interview was with British author, Ann She is best known for her witty and charming (and beautifully written) mysteries in a small English village.  The main character, Lois Meade and her band of ‘cleaners’ make for a sometimes hilarious but cunning read.  Ann was so generous with her answers that I have made this interview into a two-parter.  I hope you enjoy her fascinating journey as much as I did!

I asked questions like:   Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?  Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write?  What is your mode of writing?  Do you have a set time each day to write or do you write only when you are feeling creative?  Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing and for how long?   When did you begin to write seriously?

and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like?

                                                   **An Interview with author, Ann Purser**

Hi Trish! Nice of you to invite me – so here goes.

You ask me lots of questions which I will try to answer: I write in an annexe originally built for disabled daughter and called Harriet`s House. All switches at wheelchair height, and handy loo and shower. Five mornings a week, I am in there pounding away at the keyboard and blessing whoever it was who invented the computer, since the Delete button is so much quicker than a grubby pink typewriter rubber. First thing to do is find a cd – I have music playing always, since we live next to the village school, and the deafening noise the little dears make is quite remarkable!

English, born in Leicestershire.  Tried my hand at many things, details of which are boringly on my website, but eventually was driven to write a book. I say driven, because at that time my eight year old daughter, born prematurely, was struggling with cerebral palsy, and I was struggling with managing her, plus two subsequent energetic little ones. My husband – a writer and critic – once Critic of the Year – got so fed up with listening to my moans that he said “Why don`t you write down how you feel, and we`ll send it to SHE magazine.”   

NOW, it so happens that the editor at that time was an ex-girlfriend of said husband, and she very nicely featured my burblings on a couple of pages. There were pictures of my daughter, very delicate and heart-breakingly pretty, and of me looking vacant.

It was a start, and although I didn’t follow it up for some time, I was asked by the Spastics Society to help write a book for parents. Not technical, not preachy, just based on our experiences. Did this, and it came in pink hard covers, and some good reviews. You and Your Handicapped Child was followed by a school book with the snappy title, Looking Back at Popular Entertainment, 1901-1931. Writing this taught me a lot about research, and the nicest part was finding old photos of show biz stars from the Hulton Picture Library.

We don`t want to know all this,” I hear you say. But the fact is, and I`m sure other writers will bear me out on this, nothing in one`s experience, whether years ago or yesterday, should be wasted. Tiny things, like Ivy Beasley`s mother`s fiction, village life, authors, writersvoice in her head, float up to be remembered and used.

.…… be continued on January 17th.  Hope you’ll join us!


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