Author Guest Post, Book Blog

Anne Stormont ~ Author Guest Spot~ @writeanne

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Anne Stormont is a former teacher turned full-time author. She is also a wife, mother and grandmother.  She is a Scot, living in Scotland, but has travelled all over the world. The only continent she has not set foot on is Antarctica which is a huge omission as she’s passionate about penguins. She can be a subversive old bat but she maintains a kind heart.

Anne has published two novels of contemporary fiction for adults.

These are Change of Life and Displacement. She is currently working on a third.

Writing as Anne McAlpine, she has also written a novel for children entitled The Silver Locket  

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Anne has a blog called Put it in Writing where she writes about – you guessed it – writing, but also about books she has read and enjoyed, and about life in general.

Her author websites are ~
annestormont.co.uk and annemcalpine.co.uk
Twitter: @writeanne
Facebook Pages: Anne Stormont Author and Anne McAlpine Author

Write Reasons By Anne Stormont 

Why I write

I do occasionally wonder why I write. After all it can be a lonely, frustrating and dispiriting experience. Sometimes it’s a struggle just to get to the desk, then there’s the staring at the blank page and the spells of self-doubt, of feeling like some kind of pathetic impostor.

But these spells of negativity are rare and I’ve learned to accept them as part of the territory you inhabit as an author.

And the upsides are wonderful. I get so much pleasure from creating and controlling worlds, from getting to live other lives in other places as I write. And then there’s the incomparable joy of holding a book – a book that I wrote.

The truth is I’m addicted. I can’t imagine not writing. Even if nobody read my writing I’d still do it. I’ve been a scribbler since I was a child. And my first writing was literally scribbles. Before I knew how to form letters I would scribble wiggly pencil lines on a piece of paper and my granny would then read back to me the story I had ‘written’. I really believed I had actually created something. Once at primary school, I graduated to writing stories – complete with illustrations – for my little sisters. And then from writing short stories during my teenage years, I went on to fill notebooks with ideas for novels.

My productivity dwindled during my twenties and thirties when, working full time as a teacher and bringing up a family, I had little time to write.

But then I got the proverbial wake-up call when I was diagnosed with cancer in 1998. During my treatment and recovery, one of the deals I did with fate was that if I survived, I’d stop procrastinating and I’d find time for the things that were important to me.

I did survive and I kept my side of the deal. So, in 2000, I booked myself a week’s residential writing course at Moniack Mhor near Inverness. It was a life-changing week in respect of my writing. One of the tutors was the novelist Ali Smith. Part of the course involved submitting something you’d written to Ali and then getting one-to-one feedback on it from her. I submitted a short story. Ali said I could definitely write BUT, while my story was okay, she felt there was a novel in it struggling to get out. She suggested I get working on it.

What I write

Long story, very short – the result of Ali Smith’s inspiring words was that in 2009 I at last published my first novel, Change of Life.

Since then I’ve published two more novels.

One of them is a children’s book called The Silver Locket (which I wrote as Anne McAlpine) and it was inspired by a visit to the Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Centre in Inverness with my Primary 6 pupils. Whilst the children and I were out on the battlefield the idea of some modern day children time-slipping back to 1746 and helping out Bonnie Prince Charlie took hold and the rest is – well – history.  

My other published novel is for adults and is called Displacement and I’m currently working on its sequel. Once that’s done I’m planning to write a follow up story to The Silver Locket.

Why I write what I write

When I’m making up stories, I find I want to produce the sort of book I would enjoy reading.

When I’m writing for nine to twelve-year-olds, I write the sort of summer holiday adventure stories I’d have enjoyed at that age – think Famous Five and Swallows and Amazons for the twenty-first century.  

My adult novels are difficult to pigeon-hole. But again they’re the sort of books I like. They are contemporary and feature a strong middle-aged (or older) female lead dealing with a variety of issues. The settings play a significant part in the stories too, and there’s a strong element of later-life romance. But it’s romance mixed with realism.

My stories are all about human connection, communication and overcoming difficulties, and the outlook and tone are optimistic.

I write about things that inspire me, challenge me and make me think.

Of course I hope my readers are also inspired, challenged and given pause for thought when they read what I’ve written. But above all, I hope they get as much enjoyment out of reading my words as I get from writing them.

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Book Jacket 

From the Scottish Hebrides to the Middle-East, Displacement is a soul-searching journey from grief to reclamation of self, and a love-story where romance and realism meet head-on. Divorce, the death of her soldier son and estrangement from her daughter, leave Hebridean crofter, Rachel Campbell, grief-stricken, lonely and lost. Forced retirement leaves former Edinburgh policeman Jack Baxter needing to find a new direction for his life. When Rachel meets Jack in dramatic circumstances on a wild winter’s night on the island of Skye, a friendship develops, despite very different personalities. Gradually their feelings for each other go beyond friendship. Something neither of them feels able to admit. And it seems unlikely they’ll get the chance to because Rachel is due to leave for several months to visit family in Israel – where she aims to re-root and reroute her life. Set against the contrasting and dramatic backdrops of the Scottish island of Skye and the contested country of Israel-Palestine, Displacement is a story of life-affirming courage and love.

To order your copy I have some links for you here ~

Anne’s other book Change Of Life is available too

 

We have Edinburgh International Book Festival 2017 goodie bundle giveaway in association with Portobello Book Blog. To enter head over to our Twitter page ~ click here.

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3 thoughts on “Anne Stormont ~ Author Guest Spot~ @writeanne”

  1. Thank you Kelly and Love Books Group for having me here as a guest. I really appreciate the opportunity to be part of this amazing blog. Thanks for all you do to support authors. You’re a star!

    Like

  2. Hi Anne and Kelly, it’s always interesting to learn what it was that spurred the writer from thinking about it to doing it. So sorry to read it was illness, Anne, but you have made up for that procrastination. I truly enjoyed Displacement and recommend it. anne stenhouse

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  3. Lovely quest spot. It’s interesting to me how writers become writers – finally getting down to the tough business of pulling together a book. Taking a class and getting such great support and encouragement sounded like just what you needed, Anne, after the life-changing experience of cancer. I’m glad you’re well and great luck with your books!

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