Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.” Winston Churchill
The idea is to encourage readers (and other authors of course) to discover new books by British authors by visiting and supporting the websites of authors involved in the tour, and who are dedicated to turning out some of the finest books available in Britain today.
Firstly, a note from Paul: “We British have certain conventions, traditions and procedures that are expected. There is a dress code in the reading of this British blog and you are expected to comply with it.
For example… Gentlemen will wear suits, white shirts and dark ties. (Military ties are expected wherever possible). Ladies will wear dresses (one inch above the knee, no higher, no lower) and floral summer hats. A break for tea and cucumber sandwiches is expected at some stage, and is permissible. The list at the bottom the page is not a queue. We British hate queues, and will accept them no longer. It is an invitation, and you are expected to accept that invitation and support the home-grown product. Now then, let us proceed in an orderly fashion. As you know, we are all very boring and staid in Britain, aren’t we?”
Q. Where were you born and where do you live at the moment?
A. I was born in Rugby, Warwickshire and now live in Devon.
Q. Have you always lived and worked in Britain or are you based elsewhere at the moment?
A. I’ve moved around quite a bit and lived for nearly fourteen years in Guernsey, which although part of Great Britain, is not part of the UK. I also lived for a couple of years in sunny Spain and miss the warmth 🙂
Q. Which is your favourite part of Britain?
A. Tricky one. I really love being by the sea as I am now, but there’s some very beautiful areas inland. I think Bath has everything (except the sea! though it does have a river) and to me epitomises the best of Britain. Great architecture, a vibrant culture and beautiful countryside. And a reasonable size so you don’t get lost. And then there’s Guernsey . . . .
Q. Have you ‘highlighted’ or ‘showcased’ any particular part of Britain in your books? For example, a town or city; a county, a monument or some well-known place or event?
A. Yes, my novel Dangerous Waters has the sub-title ‘Mystery, love and loss on the island of Guernsey’. It’s mon homage to the island where I spent many happy years. Part of the story also relates to the German Occupation of WWII, an event seared in the memories of the older inhabitants. My next book, Finding Mother, is set mainly in the Channel Islands so I continue mon homage!
Q. There is an illusion – or myth if you wish – about British people that I would like you to discuss. Many see the ‘Brits’ as ‘stiff upper lip’. Is that correct?
A. I think the British have been long considered to be ‘lacking’ in emotion and this was probably true until the early 20thCentury. We just kept that ‘stiff upper lip ‘ regardless. But in the past few decades we’ve learnt that it’s alright to show our feelings in the manner of our continental neighbours. A few tears, hugs or shouts when a team wins a match have now become the norm. Perhaps it could now be argued that we’ve gone too much the other way!
Q. Do any of the characters in your books carry the ‘stiff upper lip’? Or are they all ‘British Bulldog’ and unique in their own way?
A. I think one of my characters tended to keep a lid on his feelings but opens up as the story progresses. He also becomes a ‘British Bulldog’ when the need arises – ahh! don’t you just love it when a man rushes to rescue the maiden in distress James Bond style J
Q. Tell us about one of your recent books?
A. It’s here on my Home page DangerousWaters
Q. What are you currently working on?
A. ‘Finding Mother’, set primarily in Guernsey but with excursions to Jersey, Spain and both contemporary and wartime England. It’s the story of a young woman, Nicole, who decides to trace her natural mother after her marriage hits a crisis. She feels that tracing her roots will help her to understand herself better. The novel also features the stories of her natural mother and grandmother, who have both kept secrets for many years. I do love secrets!
Q. How do you spend your leisure time?
A. I do tend to spend too much time on the internet – social networking, checking out the latest gizmos or emailing friends. Other than that I love walking and am very lucky to be 10 minutes from two beaches. I don’t do hills or steep inclines, just nice, gentle strolls observing all that passes into view. The arts have a great appeal and I enjoy plays, films and museums. And of course books! It’s lovely to travel to new places and I’m happy to have any opportunity to jet off. I’m also a doting grandmother and love taking the children out for a fun day.
Q. Do you write for a local audience or a global audience?
A. Definitely global. It’s so much easier nowadays with the advent of ebooks and I’ve had sales worldwide. I think British writers have a certain ‘style’ which is recognised and loved everywhere.
Q. Can you provide links to your work?
A. Certainly. Just click on one of the Amazon links below.[zilla_button url=”http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dangerous-Waters-Mystery-Island-Guernsey/dp/1780882300″ style=”blue” size=”medium” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon.co.uk [/zilla_button] [zilla_button url=”http://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Waters-Mystery-Guernsey-ebook/dp/B007P1EIAU” style=”blue” size=”medium” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon.com [/zilla_button]
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Anne Allen is the award-winning author of The Guernsey Novels. By profession she was a psychotherapist, however, is now retired from the day job to concentrate on writing. Anne has a restless soul and has lived in many fascinating places, including the beautiful island of Guernsey where she lived for fourteen years.