Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Oh I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside!

Today we are delighted to welcome Celia J Anderson

Celia spends most of her spare time writing in as many different genres as possible, including children’s fiction. She also loves teaching drama and literature (now comfortingly called English again but still the best subject in the world.)

With two grown up daughters who have defected to the seaside, Celia’s future plan is to scoop up husband and cats and join them there. Her aim is a writing room with a sea view.

Have you always been or wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always written for fun, but a fantastic creative writing module in 1996 - part of my training to be a teacher - sowed the seeds of something more, and my first novel began to take shape. That one never made it (fortunately for the book world) but it’s actually the prequel to the new one, Little Boxes so the ten year writing process wasn’t wasted!

You graduated from the NWS last year with Sweet Proposal. We’d love to hear about the lead up to, and your involvement in the Joan Hessayan Award Ceremony.
The first time I went to an RNA summer party the Joan Hessayon award was being presented, and it became my dream to be in that line up. The invitation to be there, via email, was a proud moment, especially as two of my best writing buddies/fellow Romaniacs, Laura E James and Sue Fortin were going to be up there too. There were lots of blog interviews beforehand and an article in the local press - it was a fabulous occasion with fizz provided by Joan’s lovely husband and a wonderfully uncompetitive feeling for an event of this sort!

Can you tell us something about your working life before?
It’s more of a now than a before - my last year’s plan was to scale down my teaching workload to give extra writing time but then circumstances changed and I was given the job of assistant head, which is great fun but extremely full-on. It’s a bit of a juggling act to find time to write. Luckily, I wake up early. Strong coffee helps a lot

You’re a member of the Romaniacs Blogging team. How did you all get together?
Meeting the Romaniacs has been the single most significant moment in my writing life so far. Most of us got together at the first Festival of Romance in 2011 - we knew from the start that our friendship was something very special and when the other two joined us shortly afterwards, the die was cast and we very soon began blogging together. These ladies are my writing mainstay, brilliant critique partners, honest sounding boards, but most of all a source of support and ridiculous humour at any time of the day or night. We find it hard to all be in one place at once due to families, work etc. but when we do manage it, the wine and cake intake is legendary.

How do relax when not working?
I cook, eat and drink too much, go for long walks, (in the Derbyshire countryside, by the sea or on the Quantocks whenever possible) and socialise with my family and friends. Oh, and have lovely long naps. And read and read and read and read.

‘Little Boxes’ is released today. What can you tell us about it?
It’s a story of Molly’s quest to confront the secrets of her past and to begin to move on. The clues for her journey arrive at random times through the post in little boxes, each one designed to make Molly dig deeper into life before her husband’s death. In the process she meets the desirable and charismatic artist Tom, who has secrets and problems of his own.

What has been your experience regarding the publishing process?
My first novel, Sweet Proposal, was published digitally in August 2013 by Piatkus Entice, following a competition win at the 2012 Festival of Romance. The whole process was fascinating, especially the editing - I learned a lot, particularly from Caroline Kirkpatrick. This time I’m published by Tirgearr and it’s been equally interesting. They are so easy to work with - cooperative, friendly and approachable. I’m looking forward to more of the same in the future, fingers crossed.

As no writer rests on her (or his) laurels, what is next for Celia J Anderson?
In the adult writing field, my next project is something more off-the-wall - still romance but with a twist. It’s called Living the Dream and involves mind travel. I also write for children, and my middle grade book Teacher Torture is with a publisher for consideration as we speak. Even more finger crossing.


Twitter: @CeliaAnderson1
Facebook Author Page: Celia J Anderson

Our fingers are crossed for you too. Thank you for joining us today, Celia

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Laura E. James said...

I'm so excited and thrilled for you, Celia, and I look forward to the day you move to live by the seaside :-) xxx

Kathryn Freeman said...

Lovely to hear a bit more about you - and that writing room with a sea view sounds wonderful! I love the sound of Little Boxes and wish you loads of success with it.