I started writing books when I was about eight years old. These early attempts were handwritten on lined paper torn from an exercise book and stapled together, and as it was rather a labour intensive occupation for a small child I soon gave up and wrote mostly in my head for the next thirty years.
Enter the word processor! A machine I fell instantly in love with, and which re-kindled my writing ambitions. This love affair happened many years ago and set me off on a steep learning curve as I discovered how difficult it was to write short stories. However, my first serious attempt won first prize in a competition and more than a few creative writing courses and several years later, I’ve learnt a good deal more about this most challenging of writing forms. Around fifteen of my short stories have been published over the years.
In between times I’ve co-written and published a book of vocabulary quizzes for adult language learners, and with the same writing team, published on CDRom a book of role-plays for the same market. In a freelance capacity I’ve adapted more than a dozen novels for the Penguin English reading scheme (two of which have been finalists in the Language Learners Literature Award – both times I’ve had the long dress and the acceptance speech ready but sadly these have not been required), and I’ve written very many theatre and music reviews for my local paper. Recently, song lyrics have been a challenging way to spend my time – and I’m very proud that some have been recorded on a couple of critically acclaimed jazz CDs (see Lyrics page). Jazz is a passion of mine – for the last twenty years (and still counting…) I’ve promoted jazz in my home town – more than 200 gigs to date.
But since the age of eight, I’ve been a novelist struggling to get out, and sooner or later it had to happen. The Generation Club finally did it, not stapled together this time but perfect bound and in a classy cover. My second novel, Distant Cousins, came along two years later.
I’m lucky to live by the sea. Walking the seafront is the best way I know of clearing my head and sorting out those irritating plot issues that just don’t add up. I can be found most mornings, plodding along, gazing out to sea and muttering to myself. A lifelong daydreamer, it’s great to be able to put some of those fantasies to good use and share them with other people.
© Annette Keen