Guernsey Literary Festival: author, Anne Allen
The Guernsey Literary Festival welcomes author, retired psychotherapist and former Guernsey resident, Anne Allen, to talk about her seventh book, The Inheritance.
Anne took time out of her busy creative schedule to talk to Sure about her career as a writer and what she loved most about living in Guernsey.
Tell us about your background.
I was born in Rugby to a local mother and a Welsh father and learned to love the sea from a young age after spending summer holidays in Anglesey with my grandparents. Most of my adult life has been spent moving to coastal areas as a result. By profession, I was a psychotherapist but I have now taken up writing full-time and my latest book, The Inheritance, book seven in The Guernsey Novels series, was published in April 2019.
Describe yourself in three words.
Friendly, inquisitive, writer.
Where does your love of writing come from?
I always loved writing ‘compositions’ at school and later, when pursuing an Open University degree in Humanities, I enjoyed the process of essay writing. In other words, I like words!
Where and/or who inspires you?
With regard to my novels, my inspiration has come from Guernsey itself. I spent many happy years living and working there and when I finally took the plunge to write, it was a no-brainer that the island would be the setting for my first book. I did not set out to write a series, however, and didn’t realise I was until after the third book, Guernsey Retreat came out. I have been inspired by various authors, including Joanne Harris, Robert Goddard and Mary Higgins Clark.
How many books have you written?
Is this your first time presenting at the Guernsey Literary Festival?
In your opinion, what can attendees expect from attending your talk?
The background to my latest novel, The Inheritance, which is set partly around Victor Hugo and his time in Guernsey. So, plenty of local interest!
List the three essential qualities for a writer.
Persistence, a love of reading and a reasonable command of language.
What is your best advice for aspiring writers?
Read as much as you can, particularly in your chosen genre and write more from your heart and soul than your head.
You lived in Guernsey for 14 years. What did you like most about living in Guernsey?
I loved the slower pace of life compared to the mainland and the beauty on the doorstep. Wherever I went, my eyes were drawn to the beaches and seascapes. I particularly loved Herm and it has a special place in my heart. Quite magical!
How would you summarise your approach to life?
I’m not sure I have a particular approach! There have been times when I’ve simply taken each day as it comes and other times when it’s been full-on crisis management. My aim is to enjoy what life throws at me, but that doesn’t always work.
Apart from the Guernsey Literary Festival, what other literary events are you involved with?
I’m taking part in the Exeter Literary Festival in November this year.
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
It depends on what’s happening. Working on my own from home does make it too easy to think mañana, especially when a book is not going well. When the writing flows or the book is approaching completion, then I’m motivated to get up and carry on.
To buy tickets to attend Anne Allen’s talk on Friday 4 May, visit https://guernseyliteraryfestival.com/book-events