Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Getting To Know... Anna Osborne

Today on Getting To Know... I am welcoming Anna Franklin Osborne, author of Walking Wounded

Your debut novel, Walking Wounded, is set across WWI and WWII, what was the inspiration for using this time period?

I live in the past! I love historical fiction and spend an awful lot of time immersed in it. We were walking on a D-Day beach (simply because our ferry was late) and I began telling our kids about my 3 great-uncles who were there on that day, and about my gran, who stitched parachutes in preparation, then began reflecting on the fact that we all have not-so-distant relatives who were part of this incredible era. I began at the end of the 1st world war because I am interested in how war shapes lives, during and afterwards, as everybody picks up pieces of a life which was thrust upon them, and not necessarily what they had chosen.

When you're writing, do you have a set routine or schedule that you like to follow?

Er - not at all, I'm a working mum! When I realised that I was serious about writing, I bought a little tablet, small enough to fit into my handbag, on the basis that if it wasn't with me at all times, this just wouldn't happen. I typed most of Walking Wounded with this balanced on the steering wheel in my car waiting to pick up my daughter (she is beautifully featured on the cover!) so I suppose you could say I had a routine - 15 minutes every day between 3pm and 3.15! I also wrote in the mornings on holiday on a camping table amongst the pine trees while my family slept on inside our camper- all snatched but precious moments.

You have previously written some short stories, do you have a preference between writing them or a novel?

I love writing short stories and intend to do more - I find they can be such powerful little snapshots leaving a lot to the readers imagination. I never thought I could write a novel but found Walking Wounded unfolded as fast as my fingers could type, and now I must confess I can't wait to get into something bigger again - the beauty of a novel is that you really see it through to its fruition. So no, no preference, I see them as utterly different things - it's like asking me to choose between a Cadbury's Creme Egg and a bacon sandwich...

You are part of a choir, Chicken Soup, have you always been a singer?

No! I always sang in the shower and wished I could try it for real - I wasn't part of a church and the science set at school was never offered a chance to join the choir when I was a kid so never really had the opportunity. I received a flyer in my son's school bag one day, advertising a free, non-denominational choir locally, and decided to Just Do It. I went along, literally shaking with nerves, and LOVED it! I When this little group closed down, I went on to another and then to Chicken Soup (so named because chicken soup is good for you) and have never looked back. I now have lessons too and have done a tiny bit of solo work, which I think has to be the most exposed thing I have ever tried, and I really think being part of this wonderful group of people helped me realise that I had a creative side that needed exploring more. As I'm no artist, I tried writing...

When you're not writing what would we find you doing?

In my dreams or in real life?

In my dreams, sailing. Exploring a different place every day, sitting on deck with a glass of local wine every evening watching the sun go down with my husband at my side...

In real life, I continue to spend an awful lot of time running between my 2 jobs and ferrying the kids to all their clubs! the Mummy Taxi days are not over for some long time to come...

Do you have a favourite character that you have written so far?

No, not really, I loved them all! Possibly Stanley, because both the actual facts and our family folk-lore made him seem such a wonderful figure to me as I grew up that I was excited to imagine who he really was and what he was really like.

You are also a chiropractor, can you tell us anything about that and maybe give some tips to readers for how they should look after their backs?

Don't sit for too long!!!!! We are NOT designed for it - set a timer on your desk so you don't get swept away when you're writing - you should stand up and pace about for a couple of moments every 20 minutes - that's how little time it takes for your discs to start to deform under pressure!! And rescue a dog - 2 walks a day are the best way of staying active and fit for years to come.

Have you always known that you wanted to be an author?

Yes, I think so, but that was after astronaut and ballet dancer so it's lovely that this particular dream came true!

Do you have a favourite author?

No. I love so many different authors and genres. But perhaps, as I have spent so much time curled up in my armchair at sea with Jack Aubrey, I think I might have to choose Patrick O'Brian - the Jane Austen of the High Seas!

What can we look forward to from you next?

I am 'cooking' the idea for another novel now so hopefully I will be ready to start again very soon. I hadn't realised how much time and effort was involved in the aftermath of publication and am currently struggling to find time (again!), but will make it happen soon - my fingers are itching to start...

Thank you so much to Anna for taking time out of promoting Walking Wounded to answer my questions. 

To connect with Anna

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/GooseWingPublications/?fref=ts
Website - http://www.goosewingpublications.com/

Walking Wounded

Born at the end of the First World War, a young girl struggles to find her own identity in her big family and is pushed into a stormy marriage through a terrible misunderstanding from which her pride refuses to let her back down. As her own personal world begins to crumble, the foundation of the world around her is shaken as Germany once again declares war and her brothers and young husband sign up with the first wave of volunteers. 
Walking Wounded tells the story of those left behind in a Blitz-ravaged London, and of the web of loyalty, guilt and duty that shapes the decisions of the women awaiting the return of their men-folk as the war draws to a close. 
Spanning the period from the Armistice of the First World War to the exodus of the Ten Pound Poms to Australia in the 1950s, Walking Wounded is a family saga whose internal violence is mirrored by the world stage upon which it is set. 

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