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Photo of three of Annette's book covers

Q: You’ve said that jazz is a passion of yours – do you like to have music playing when you’re writing?
A: No! When I put a CD on it’s so that I can listen to it, not use it as a background, and I think I would find it too distracting while I’m writing. I don’t usually have the radio on either, I prefer to be quiet. But my writing room is at the front of the house and I spend a fair bit of time gazing out of the window…

Q: Anything else that helps?
A: Chocolate! And a hot water bottle on my lap in winter. Writing in sub-zero temperatures isn’t much fun because even with the heating on I get cold if I’m just sitting at the computer.

Q: So you don’t write longhand?
A: Never – it’s much too slow for me. I like to get it straight up onto the screen, and then I edit as I go.

Q: Where do you get your ideas from?
A: Things I see and hear around me, quite often really little things that just strike a chord and bring on a ‘what if?’ moment.

Q: What’s the best moment when you’re working on a story?
A: Sometimes, when it’s going really well, a character will say or do something that you don’t expect. I don’t know how this happens, but when the people you’ve created start living their own lives without you it’s a great feeling, if a little spooky…

Q: Which of the ‘girls’ in The Generation Club are you most like?
A: I think I might have a bit of all of them in me, but I’m probably mostly a combination of Jo and Karen. Not much of Mavis!

Q: Is there a favourite place you go to in your mind when the going gets tough?
A: Yes, there are two: Fish Hoek, near Cape Town and Swanage in Dorset, both places where I’ve had nothing but good times. I’ve used the Cape Town area as a location in my second novel Distant Cousins, and Dorset was the setting for Finding Bella.

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© 2021 Annette Keen