Delighted to feature Annie Watson today and her beautiful book In Seach of Urchins. Published on the 28th of January, it is out now in paperback.
- Paperback: 226 pages
- Publisher: Book Guild Publishing Ltd (28 Jan. 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1912083337
- ISBN-13: 978-1912083336
| Synopsis |
Jack has always been indecisive. He is in a solid, long-term relationship with girlfriend Clare, but has never made the ultimate commitment that she craves marriage. Now, he suspects that she is feeling the impetus of her biological clock, and their settled, comfortable life is becoming increasingly unstable. After a particularly bitter argument, Jack finds himself heading for his childhood sanctuary, where he does a great deal of soul searching. He wonders if at some point in his life he made a fundamental mistake and if so, how his life might have been different. Following an accident brought about by his own stupidity, he is flung into a life-threatening coma and gets a chance to learn what might have been…
| Author Spotlight |
I was born in Dudley in the West Midlands but grew up and spent most of my life in Kent. We lived for many years in the South East London outskirts and during that time I studied, qualified, and worked as a Food Safety Officer with the local Environmental Health Department. In the mid 2000s, we took a ‘quality of life’ decision and sold our house to move to a small terrace in the lovely seaside town of Deal. We lived there for 13 years during which time I worked as manager/administrator at the local theatre, as a Human Resources assistant in a local supermarket, and as Post-16 administrator in the local secondary schools. A year or so ago we again felt the need for a big change, so we sold the Deal house and found jobs on a holiday park on the Suffolk coast. We live and work on site with our dog, Biggles, and it is a very simple life in a beautiful location. Between us, David and I have 3 daughters, now grown up, and 3 grandchildren. I have been writing most of my life, mainly for pleasure and for friends, and In Search of Urchins is my first novel..
What book truly inspired your life and why?
I would have to say Nineteen-Eighty-Four by George Orwell. As a teenager and young adult I read it over and over again and always found something new to marvel at. I was so inspired by the amazing concepts and the sheer believability of the future world as the author imagined it. I still, now and again, try to practice my doublethink!
How did you pick who you dedicated your book to?
That was easy. The two most important people in my life, my husband and my daughter. I hope my daughter reads the book before she reads this because it’s a surprise!
Did you do a lot of research for your book?
Mostly, it came out of my head, but I researched a few technical details and checked out the specifics of some of the locations. All of the locations in the book are places I have visited but it’s always good to check by looking at pictures and seeing if anything has changed massively. There were a few chapters where I needed to polish up on a bit of procedural information, and I also researched the time in which the earlier story is set, to make sure I hadn’t included any glaring anachronisms – I’m sure people will let me know if I missed any!
What was your favourite read of 2017?
The Girl with all the Gifts. So well written, a brilliant story, and one of those books that keeps you thinking for days after you finish. I plan to re-read it this year and seek out the film.
If you had to take three books on a desert island what would they be?
The Oxford Dictionary, Stephen King’s The Stand and a David Bowie biography with lots of pictures! 1984 notwithstanding, the Stand is my favourite ‘long’ read, and a dictionary would keep me amused indefinitely. I can (and do) happily read a few pages at a time.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?
I wrote the book over many years and wasn’t at all sure that I would ever publish it. Once it was complete I spent months re-reading and editing it and was very nervous about putting it ‘out there’. This was compounded by the first few rejections from mainstream publishers which were enough to convince me that I was right, and no-one would want to read the story. I then shelved the project for a couple of years until my husband’s gentle but constant nagging convinced me to try again. Together we started looking into self-publishing and that was when the Book Guild stepped in and rescued me!
Can you share with us a photo that tells a story?
What would you like your readers to know before starting your book?
As I said, this story took me many years to write. The basic storyline has been in my head since I was at school, I just didn’t know how to get started, although I was always mulling over the plot at the back of my mind. Once I started writing, bearing in mind that I had never written a novel before, I was surprised by some of the directions that the story took, and the way the characters developed. It is not exactly the book I thought I was going to write but after the first few chapters I gave in and let the characters lead me where they wanted. I found the whole process extremely educational and know that I learned a lot from the experience. At the start, none of the characters had names and I can honestly say that they named themselves.
Do you have any questions that you would like to ask your readers?
I would love to know what elements of a story readers think are essential for a good read. Are there some things that are a must before you pick up a book and read it?
If you could choose the perfect novel for you to read, which genre would it be and have you ever thought of writing it yourself?
Obviously, I would love to know what readers thought of In Search of Urchins. It’s my first work and I am keen to learn whatever I can from the experience.
Thank you so much to Annie Watson for taking part. I thoroughly enjoyed The Girl with all the Gifts too. I look forward to reviewing In Search of Urchins on the blog at a later date.
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