Hello, everyone. Allow me to introduce myself to those of you unfortunate – or fortunate – enough not to have met me in the Virtual Universe. I’m Anne Allen and I started life in Rugby, the very middle of England, but soon learned that I loved the sea. Luckily for me, my father was Welsh, from Anglesey in North Wales and every summer we spent sunlit holidays in Rhosneigr, a beautiful village on the coast. Once I had reached the grown-up age of 21 (in my day it was 21 not 18), I became restless and, after being jilted at the altar, (a few weeks before, to be truthful) scuttled off to Italy as an au pair. As one does. This is when the travel bug really bit and although I was not in a position to live abroad again for many years, the quest to see new places was still intact.
I married and had three great children, but sadly was widowed in my thirties. This loss reignited the desire to ‘get away’ from Rugby and I dragged my poor children around the UK until we eventually settled in Guernsey. Reader, I fell in love! Firstly with the island and later on with a man – to be truthful (again) there were three men. Not at the same time, I hasten to add! I did, in the fullness of time, move in with No. 3 and continued to enjoy living in Guernsey. Before moving to the island I had qualified as a psychotherapist and hypnotherapist and supported my family with my work. As a single mum there was no time to have hobbies but I did enjoy anything creative, like decorating, or renovating houses. I was often told that I should ‘write a book’ as my life had been anything but dull, but I did not have the time or focus.
Things changed when, after parting ways with The Third Man, I returned, via Spain, to England. Two children had long flown away and the third was on the verge. Once I had renovated yet one more house I felt that creative ‘itch’ once more. This time it propelled me to pick up my pen and write. Not my memoirs – God forbid! – but fiction. The idea for a story popped into my head after I had read a novel set on a small island and another centred on a house renovation. I combined the two into Dangerous Waters, a romantic mystery set in Guernsey. It’s fair to say that the book was my homage to the island: I had been very happy there and sad to leave after nearly 14 years. However, I did contrive to leave one son there, providing ample excuses to make frequent returns. The book focuses on love and loss and proved to be cathartic for me after my own experiences. My work as a therapist enabled me to write authoritatively on issues of trauma and loss and one character is a hypnotherapist.
After trying, without success, to gain an agent, I finally bit the bullet and self-published in 2012. This has been one of the best things I’ve ever done, in spite of the fact that I’m not a stratospheric author – yet! I published Finding Mother, a romantic family drama, in 2013 and launched Guernsey Retreat, a mystery romance, in August 2014. As all my books, including the fourth WIP, are set in Guernsey, I’ve named them The Guernsey Novels. Although they are stand-alone books, they do share links with each other as characters pop up from one book to another.