Blog Archive

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Interview with Anna Farsham

 Welcome to my blog interview.
I am pleased to introduce the beautiful
Anna Faversham

Hello  (name). Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’ve lived most of my life in Kent, England, although I spent some time in New Zealand and Zambia.
New Zealand is memorable not only for the outstanding scenery but also for the exceptional people I met there who taught me so much about hospitality and self-sufficiency. This came in handy for when I moved to Africa and found that if I didn’t grow the food myself, there wasn’t much to eat.
Life in Africa has made me appreciate so much here in England and I take nothing for granted any more. I also find I can exist very cheaply!

What brought you to the world of writing?

As a child, I always enjoyed writing school essays, and at one point I asked my scary teacher if I could start a class magazine. So writing for others began when I was quite young.
Then when I was in Africa, I started writing a few bed-time stories for my children.
Back home in England, the priorities of family, mortgage and job took over so nothing much happened for some years until the stories going on in my head erupted onto the screen.

What is your first book and what do you think of it now?

The first book I wrote was the second book I published – One Dark Night. I still love the story and the characters have become almost real and they are alive and kicking in a sequel.
I often base characters on interesting or quirky people I have met or even just observed. It’s as if they are the coat hangers and then I dress them up in clothes. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it?

What type of books do you write and do they fulfil your reader’s needs?

Oh what an interesting question! I have not thought of my books as fulfilling my reader's needs. I shall remember that in future. Thank you. The first book I published was ‘Hide in Time’, a time travel romance with a spot of mystery thrown in. I’d only ever read one time travel book before and that was dear old H.G. Wells’s ‘The Time Machine’. This probably accounts for why reviewers say it is ‘unusual…but worth it’ and some have been kind enough to say it is wonderful to have a break from the usual formulaic books.
The second book and its forthcoming sequel are classified as historical romance/romantic suspense/action and adventure – all of those genres are covered. I grew up by the sea and once visited some smugglers’ caves and my muse went into overdrive. I was only a teenager but my head was full of possibilities of what used to happen in those caves. Years later my husband told me of his distant ancestor, a notorious smuggler. For some time we treated it as family folklore, probably unlikely to be true, but one day I came across a book which mentioned this ancestor and it’s all true. And worse!
Do they fulfil my reader’s needs? I hope so. I try always to have a theme running through the books that might be something the reader finds useful or interesting to toss around and take away with them.
Hide in Time’s theme is: ‘They say it’s not the things you’ve done that you regret most but the things you’ve left undone.’ It came about when my eldest brother died young and I regretted not being able to help him through some difficult times.
One Dark Night’s theme is: ‘We owe so much to those who hurt us’ which is a quotation by Dorothy Kerin. Difficult, eh? But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was true in my own life and so I hope that others will find that much good can come out of hard times.
Under a Dark Star’s theme is: ‘All that it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.’ It’s a paraphrase of a quotation sometimes attributed to Edmund Burke who was a Member of Parliament in the eighteenth century.

Would you like to feature a book, if so which one?  Tell us about it?

I’d like to feature ‘Under a Dark Star’ which will be released late summer 2016.
It is a sequel to the story of Lucy’s struggles to make a good life for herself and the book starts with her comfortably off with interesting projects to manage and a much loved husband and baby. Readers probably know from their own experience that comfortable times of happiness rarely last long before something or somebody interrupts the peace.
Soon she finds herself on a long and difficult journey to the diamond isle, ‘The Isle of Wight’, off the south coast of England. The reason? Her husband and his friend are going to tackle the wreckers who lure ships onto the rocks in order to plunder their cargo.
Much of the story is told from her husband Daniel’s point of view as he goes under cover pretending to be keen to join in. What he discovers leads to his almost certain death.
Once again, this is not a formulaic romance. It is designed for those who want something different. Action and adventure, mystery and suspense – it suits both men and women who enjoy strong characters and historical action incorporating facts.
I haven’t mentioned this anywhere before, so Catherine’s blog has a scoop ;o). Four of the supporting characters’ names are those of people who worked at Bletchley Park in the Second World War cracking codes in enemy communications. They helped win the war but never became famous like other heroes because they were sworn to secrecy. This is my way of thanking them and ensuring their names are not forgotten. If you read the book you might like to see if you can spot them.

How long does it take you to write your first draft?

I don’t write full time so I try to ring-fence 15 hours a week, sometimes I can’t manage even that. Under a Dark Star has taken me about eighteen months to come up with a first draft. 

Do you plot or not, if so why?

I plot the opening and I know roughly what the ending will be then the characters take me on a roller coaster ride with me frantically recording their adventures. Then I steer them towards their fate at the end.

Do you write in 1st or 3rd person, or have you done both?

I’ve only written one short story in first person (I became an ex soldier), everything else has been in third person.

How do you edit your work?  Do you leave your draft alone for a while or edit as you write?

I edit as I go along and then when I have the first draft, I edit again. I leave it for a while then edit again.

What type of people/readers do you market your books to?

I learnt almost in the first week that once it’s on Amazon I had no control over who would buy the book. I was amazed to be selling more in the USA than in the UK. I’m very pleased to say that men seem to enjoy them as much or more than women. I intended them for the twenty-five years and upwards market.

Do you self-publish or have you worked with an Agent/Publisher

I have a good writing friend and we discussed this when we were both writing our first books and we decided that ebooks and self-publishing were the way forward. I wouldn’t want an Agent and a Publisher because I’d have to write to a timetable and it would become a chore.

How do you promote your writing?
Mostly through Kindle Countdown Deals. 

Where can we buy your books?

On Amazon as ebooks.

Who are your favourite authors?

Charles Dickens – I love the characters he created. Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, of course. I like some of Lynn Truss’s books and Alexander McCall Smith’s. I could give you a long list, but I’ll stop there!


 Thank you very much for your interesting interview, Anna.

1 comment:

  1. You're very welcome, Catherine, and how much do I owe you for calling me beautiful?