Tuesday, 2 February 2016



Anne Goodwin’s debut novel, Sugar and Snails, is about a woman who has kept her past identity a secret for thirty years. It was published in July 2015 by Inspired Quill. Her second novel, Underneath is about a man who keeps a woman captive in his cellar, is scheduled for May 2017. Anne is also a book blogger and author of over 60 published short stories. If you’re in the UK, come and meet her at one of her author events. Alternatively you can connect via her website: annethology or on Twitter @Annecdotist.

Thank you very much Anne for taking out time to answer the Questions for Authorprenuer Blog and sharing your journey as an author with the readers. 

What makes the process of writing worthwhile for you?
I find the process of revision the most intrinsically rewarding: cutting out redundant words; finding a way of expressing something with greater clarity, subtlety or eloquence; and, even though my fiction is not plot-heavy, I love spreading clues, like a trail of breadcrumbs, to lead to the climax.However, I must admit my writing is also an addiction that won’t let me go, with origins in my love of reading and the dream of my own words giving a similar pleasure to others. The addiction is driven by a need to express the unexpressible and to tame the thoughts bubbling in my head. It’s maintained by the satisfaction of publication and from readers’ appreciation but, as with any addiction, the highs can leave me wanting more.

What was the most frustrating moment of your writing career?
The writer’s path is strewn with disappointments; how does one choose among so many? But it was certainly frustrating when, after she’d fallen in love with my novel, an agent’s assistant was unable to persuade her senior colleagues in the agency to take it on. Luckily, I was able to find a happy home for my novel with a publisher who accepts direct submissions. A little further along the path, however, I remember the shock when a bookseller informed me that, due to the discount required for a shop to stock it, my novel was priced too low; fortunately something the publisher was able to rectify.

What was the most satisfying moment of your writing career?
A string of moments connected with getting my first novel published: the generous quotes from the early readers; the excitement of publication day; and seeing friends and family actually enjoy themselves at my launch parties and queue up to buy signed copies of my book.

If you have to make a movie trailer of your writing career, what the trailer will look like?
What a fascinating question, although a tricky one for those of us who work with words rather than images. But I’m picturing a girl with a gag across her mouth sitting reading a book. The girl morphs into a young woman scribbling in an exercise book as if her life depends on it (maybe illustrated by that cliché gallows in the background or a ticking time-bomb)! Finally – because don’t we all love a happy ending – she’s older and greyer, but nevertheless radiant as she signs copies of her first book. Alternatively, in the arthouse version, it won’t finish there but will move back to her frantic scribbling, although she’s now quite old and frail, in a dark and shabby room while, through the window, we see “normal” people out in the sunshine getting on with real-life. On reflection, I think I’ll have the Disney version, please.

How much do you rely on personal emotions and memories to write your novels?
I like to read, and try to write, fiction that has emotional depth, so I’m drawing very much on my own emotional experience. I often use my memories of real places, and of houses especially, for my settings, although will happily play around with the details to suit the plot. The occasional episode from my own life can seep into the story, but generally I’m happier making things up. Yet, at an emotional level, much of my fiction could be read as a metaphor for my own personal story.

Would you like to research some vocations as possible jobs for a character?
The narrator of my next novel, Underneath, has worked in a rural school in South Africa, a dive centre in Belize, a car hire firm in Hong Kong and a cycle repair shop in Guatemala. I don’t think I have enough lifetimes to try all these, and I’ve lost the travelling bug, so maybe I’ll pass.

Tell me about some research information which you would never have known if you would not have written your book.
Another fascinating question, Kirtida. I’m a lazy researcher, and tend to write about topics I already know something about, just checking facts and details. However, I was rather thrown in the process of writing Sugar and Snails by the discovery, or rediscovery, that a law passed by parliament one year doesn’t come into operation until the next. Although this sounds pretty humdrum, it caused me some problems with the timeline until I was able to build it into the plot as a point of tension.

Related Post:
Kirtida Gautam is a clinical psychologist and an author. Follow her on Twitter @KirtidaGautam  


  1. Fabulous interview. I very much enjoyed the questions and the answers. It was lovely to meet Anne here on your blog, and to meet you, Kirtida, through my friendship with Anne.

    1. Hi Norah, I am glad that you enjoyed the interview. Anne is a brilliant writer and a wonderful person. I am grateful to her for taking out time for this interview.

    2. Thanks for visiting me here, Norah, and thanks Kirtida for such fabulous hosting.

    3. Thanks Anne for taking out time for this interview :)