Tag Archives: Channel Islands

Anne Allen ~ 2nd Summer Special of Successful Indie Authors

I’m especially pleased to have this interview with Anne Allen; a successful Indie Author of ‘The Guernsey Novels’. Being a lover of The Channel Islands I have read several of Anne’s books.

I hope this will appeal to writers, fans and potential readers alike…

Welcome on my blog Anne! 

Thank you, Diana, I appreciate you inviting me!

Firstly do you mind me asking was the success in your writing career gradual or sudden?

Definitely gradual! I enjoyed reasonable sales of my first book, Dangerous Waters, which was fortunate as I had ordered a 1000 copy print run. Ever the optimist! It took over a year to sell them all, mainly through Amazon and the lovely Guernsey bookshops and I also had decent sales with the e-books. The sales had declined by the time my second book came out a year later and from then on each new book gave the series a boost. The last few years it has been harder to keep the sales figures up as competition grows. An indie author has to  spend as much time marketing as they do writing, something I’m not keen on. I went ‘wide’ in 2018 meaning my books are available worldwide in all e-book formats as well as in paperback.

Are you single minded in your writing? Do you treat it as your main work and plan your day accordingly or write when the mood takes you?

I retired from my work as a psychotherapist a few years ago so writing is now my only work. In theory I could spend all day writing, but I am not always in the mood and tend to pace myself – a benefit of being an Indie author. And there is always marketing/promotion/social media which eats into the day. My last few books have involved a great deal of research, which I love, and I can happily spend a day or two reading textbooks or surfing online.

Would you describe your main genre is Women’s Mystery? How would you describe your writing style to potential readers?

I’ve never been able to quite pinpoint my genre as it’s changed slightly over the series. Romantic cosy mystery probably covered the first four titles, but the latter ones are more family drama/historical/touch of romance. I think it’s a shame books and authors have to fit into categories, don’t you? I just want to write the story! As regards style, my writing has been compared by readers to Maeve Binchy and Nora Roberts. I am happy with either!

I agree with you so much on this one Anne. I always find it extremely hard to categorize mine in one genre too.

Can you give any writers any marketing tips?

The world of marketing is constantly changing which makes it hard to be specific. Personally, I have always loved and relied on bloggers (bless you!) to help with book launches and general posts about my writing. You need to keep your name out there, and eventually the penny drops and people actually check out your books. It is also helps to give radio interviews and write articles for glossy magazines, either national or local. And at the end of the day, price promotions play a huge part in e-book sales and spreading the word about your books.

Don’t forget you were a speaker at the Guernsey Society weren’t you? I am a member and so I saw your name advertised in their booklet!

Have you one annoying habit you can share with us?

As an ex-therapist, I tend to analyse people and their ‘problems’ and give ‘advice’ when it’s not necessarily wanted!

What pastimes keep your feet on the ground, or maybe not, when you are not writing?

I used to love travel, but with the current situation with the pandemic am not sure if I will consider it even if and when it seems safe. I also love museums, the theatre and cinema which are on hold at the moment. Fortunately I can still read books and watch good drama on television. In the past I have sculpted, painted furniture and dabbled with mosaics, but now all my creativity goes into my writing.

Was there a single moment in your writing life when you thought ‘YES, THIS IS IT’? Can you describe that moment for us?

Two years ago I received, out of the blue, an email from a well-known publisher, asking if I’d like to meet up to discuss books. She complimented me on my Guernsey books, indicating she had read at least one of them. Immediately, I thought, ‘Yes, this is it!’ I naturally replied saying yes and although she did write again nothing was ever arranged. I later heard she had commissioned another writer who wrote in a similar genre. So near, yet so far! I continue to be an Indie author and enjoy my modest success ☺

And finally, do you see yourself writing in five years time and have you ever been tempted to write in a different genre to surprise your readers?

I can’t guarantee I’ll be writing in five years’ time, but at the moment I’d like to think I could be, brain cells permitting. Looking back, I wish I had picked up my pen years before I did. Recently I have been thinking about writing in a new genre, though not sure which. My current series will probably end with the book I’m writing now, and I’ll be free to experiment. Will see what happens!

I’ve enjoyed three books in your series and I love the covers Anne. I have yet to read your latest and seventh ‘Inheritance’ but look forward to reviewing it shortly.

Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog.

 

 

 

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A Bank Holiday Moment on Alderney before I Resume my Virtual Tour

Many people I’ve been in touch with didn’t feel up to writing a piece for my competition but instead they shared with me their favourite spots on Alderney. Here are their interesting and varied answers:

Em’ said that he loves walking his dog along the path from Platte Saline to Clonque because the sea is wild, scenery rugged and you often never see a soul.

M’ said that his favourite spot was Cachaliere Pier.  ‘It was a bit of a scramble but it was there I saw Granville Fritilliaries whilst soaking up the sun. Mind you the cliff top walk along from Longy was lovely too.’

B’ said that she loved coming back to the hotel in the evening and popping up to the terrace at The Harbour Lights and just enjoying the end of the day looking over Braye Beach.

V’ said that the Black Rocks at Saye Bay was one of his best fishing spots and he held wonderful memories of many happy hours there.

J’ described the views from the clifftops over Telegraph Bay, especially when you can look over to the other islands of Guernsey and Sark.

P’ said his place is locally known as the Frying Pan Battery at Longy Bay, part of the Victorian defenses.  With views over the long sweeping bay over to Fort Raz and France in the distance, it’s a wonderful place for a walk, take the dogs for a run or just to sit.

S’ said ‘6 of us went to Alderney from Torquay on a boat called the Devonian ALDERNEY was sweltering and the Steam Train was kind of cute.’

J’ said ‘My wife goes to Spain but why should I want to go away for a holiday? I have all I want right here.’

And my favourite spot? That’s difficult because there are so many, but the top one must be standing on Douglas Quay at Braye looking out across the beach towards Fort Albert and out to sea, imagining all those travellers arriving at this idyllic spot over the centuries. And my favourite bay has to be Corblets and Arch. On a sunny day you can’t beat them anywhere in the world. Magic!

Looking out over  Braye Beach

Looking out over
Braye Beach

I asked another islander E’ and she wrote, ‘everywhere on Alderney, but my most favourite must be sitting in my garden weeds and all!

I’d like to thank everyone for sharing.

And what is your favourite spot on Alderney or memory of a special visit?I’d love to hear from you either as a comment on this blog or an email diana@dianamaryjackson.co.uk.

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Alderney ~ A Pause to Reflect Part 2

Like this morning, last Saturday we woke up on Alderney to blue skies, a drop in wind and a rise in temperature. Going out and climbing to the top of the veranda at the back of the Harbour Lights was one of those, ‘Wow, it’s good to be alive!’ moments.

Looking out over  Braye Beach

Looking out over
Braye Beach

 

We had the day to ourselves and had booked a meal back at the Harbour Lights that evening and so we set off towards our favourite end of the island, to Saye and Corblets at the north eastern end. The first sight, which I never tire of, is looking back over Braye Beach towards the harbour and breakwater. The row of eighteenth century buildings look stunning when the sun shines. John Wesley stayed in one of them on one of his journeys to convert the locals.

We took the railway line to reach the end of the island, walking of course. You couldn’t do this in the summer months because of the schedule of a few trains which run from Braye Road, but at this time of year it’s quite safe.

Within twenty minutes we had reached the campsite, (also not open in April)  and headed for the sand dunes. Finding a path between the tufts of grasses we reached Saye  Bay, (pronounced (Soy) for that magical moment when you might as well have been on a Mediterranean island, but without the people. White sand stretched before us with the sea sheltered between rock crops on either side:

Saye Bay Alderney

Saye Bay Alderney

Here we paused a while, spreading out our rug in a sheltered spot and just soaked up the view, all out senses heightened. Not long after we had settled a lad appeared with a rather complicated looking kite. We were entertained watching him trying to launch it but, unfortunately, he had to give up when two little white dogs thought it was something fun to play with. I do apologise to the lad, but we couldn’t help but laugh at the sight. I hope he will forgive us because we were the only other people on the beach. (the owner of the dog of course too.)

Taking the path up and over to Arch Bay and Corblets we paused there for a while on a bench at the end of the bays before venturing

Bird Hide in memory  of the Petits, an old Alderney Family

Bird Hide in memory
of the Petits, an old Alderney Family

towards Longis Common to look for the wildlife reserve. Passing the end of the railway track we followed two unobtrusive white painted stones. (no big posts with colourful signs here ~ everything is as understated and as natural as possible.) Within minutes we were following a path through pools of water and undergrowth, where we found one of two bird hides on the islands. This was all the more special to us because  it was put up in memory of friends’ parents and we missed it last time we looked for it. (even better because we found it by chance ~ if anything in life is by chance!) So here you are Vic and Heidi:

Walking up a few steps and we were out on Longis Common, close to the Odeon, which I will write about on another post and we headed towards The Old Barn, an unexpected pleasure for a new visitor to this end of the island but a popular restaurant for the locals, (always a good sign) where we enjoyed home-made soup. It was here we met a couple who had been on the same flight as us. It was such a relief that the weather was good for them because I didn’t want them to be put off by the inclement last couple of days. In fact, they are people like us who just wrapped up well and went out to enjoy the stunning scenery anyway. They’d really enjoyed themselves and I was so pleased, but of course the fine weather did make a huge difference.

That afternoon we walked along Longis Bay, which stretched out towards the causeway to Raz Island, where many folk were enjoying the

Longis Bay and  Raz Island

Longis Bay and
Raz Island

afternoon sunshine. In fact we fell asleep and both of us caught the sun leaning against the long concrete defences!

Back at The Harbour Lights we enjoyed a lovely meal. They have a fantastic French chef there and all the food is excellent, not to mention extremely friendly and helpful staff. In fact, it is a bit like home from home for us. When is our next trip? I hope it won’t be too long. I miss it already!

It’s not surprising that the island of Alderney inspired me to write my first novel ‘Riduna’ allegedly the Roman name for the island.

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Filed under Alderney, Channel Islands