I’m taking the day off to play golf and celebrate. Thanks for all the cards, voicemails and e-mails … the Kazoo serenade was outstanding! See you Friday!
A few weeks ago I had a visit here from the talented Tele Aadsen, fisher person and writer, trolling the dangerously magnificent waters off the coast of Alaska.
Today I’m happy to introduce you to Anneli Purchase, a writer whose life these days also very much revolves around the ebb and flow of the ocean. A fellow Canadian, Anneli and her husband live on breathtaking Vancouver Island, a part of our country that is very dear to my heart.
My late parents loved living there for five years in the 1970’s and two of the women from my real-life Bridge Club are now settled fairly close to each other near the town of Comox. When my Bridge Club had a one-week reunion on the Island two years ago, I took my parents’ ashes with me and scattered them in the majestic Pacific from the shore of a ruggedly beautiful beach. Our family all agreed that would have pleased mom and dad, so we felt we had truly honoured them.
If I had known Anneli then, we might have had a chance to meet up for a chat. Next time!
To demonstrate, yet again, the fabulous global reach of the online writing community, Anneli and I met through a writers/readers’ group that originated in the U.K.
LoveAHappyEnding.com is the bright idea of British writer, Linn B. Halton and is now a strongly established literary community … with a tremendous knack for hilarity and having a good time, as well as serious writing and offering great support to each other!
On June 15th, they hosted their first literary event, A Summer Audience, in Tetbury to outstanding reviews. Although some of us were not there in person, our novels were on display. Anneli and I watched with pride along with other members of the group from this side of the Atlantic.
P.S. Welcome, Anneli! I’m delighted to have you here for a visit.
A.P. Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog, Patricia.
P.S. Let’s begin by talking about your novel, The Wind Weeps. One review states, ” This is a Canadian tale of love, betrayal, and triumph, told with gusto, humour, and bold insight.” What an intriguing story! What prompted you to write this novel and how long did it take you?
A.P I’m a retired teacher, but in the summers I sometimes went along to deckhand with my husband on his salmon troller in the Queen Charlotte Islands. For me, fishing in waters that were anything but a glass pond was torture because I always got seasick in the slightest bit of rough water. Nausea aside, the experience of being a part of unspoiled nature is unforgettable. We were talking about the ups and downs of the fishing life, and all the colourful characters we’d met on the coast. I thought, “There’s a story in this,” and away I went scribbling down the outline of a story. Three years and many, many rewrites later, I finished “The Wind Weeps.”
P.S. Please tell us about your life on Vancouver Island and your involvement with your husband’s work as a commercial fisherman. Your writing has such a strong environmental voice that brings the savage beauty of British Columbia vividly to life.
A.P. After a few summers of trying to fish in spite of my seasickness, my husband said to me one day, “You look awful. Why don’t you go home?” I guess he thought I would be as tough as he is and say, “Oh, no. I couldn’t leave you to do this all alone.” Instead I shocked him with a small, quavery, “Okay….” I became a landlubber and have only gone on boat trips closer to home, in the summer vacation spots around Vancouver Island. But even these “sissy” trips provided wonderful adventures and background for my stories.
P.S. I know you grew up in Peace Country in northern British Columbia. How would you define the differences between life there and on the coast of B.C.?
A.P. The Peace Country has a beauty of its own, but life there can be hard, especially in the winter. I loved it there, but I do like to be warm and I would miss the ocean if I moved back. Surviving in the harsh northern winters makes it necessary for people to care for each other. In the populated areas of southern BC people are more insular and shut themselves off with an “every man for himself” attitude, but you’ll find that as you travel up the lonely coast, and survival becomes an issue again, coastal characters are there for each other.
P.S. Are you working on any new projects at the moment?
A.P. I’m in the process of publishing a second book. Like The Wind Weeps, this one is a contemporary love story complicated by unexpected twists and by the characters’ undisclosed secrets. This novel is set in the remote areas of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.
P.S. How has your perspective on writing changed since you became a published author? Is there something from your experience you might want to share with other writers?
A.P. Becoming a better writer is a continuous learning curve. Writing groups, critiquing groups, writing conferences, and workshops all have their place. If we pay attention to writing tips from the experts, we can always improve our own writing style. I’m glad I didn’t publish my first book as soon as I thought it was finished. The Wind Weeps is actually the third novel I’ve written. I feel good about what I’ve learned since writing my first unpublished novel. I’m now rewriting the first two and am pleased with how they are shaping up. I see too many poorly written books out there, especially, but not only, self-published books. That’s not to say, “Don’t self-publish.” I do believe it’s the way to go. But get yourself a good copy-editor!
Anneli, I wish you the best of luck with your new novel and look forward to more stories and photos from your life on beautiful Vancouver Island. I’ve also been meaning to tell you I think your name is simply lovely!
Here are all the links we need to connect with Anneli, order her books or send her messages. Take note she also is available as a copy editor. She’ll be delighted to hear from you!
Amazon.com (paperback or Kindle): http://amzn.to/KpAB7G
Smashwords (Kindle and other e-book formats): http://bit.ly/yPQvEP
Whenever I want to be reminded of smart, funny, poignant, meaningful writing, I read something written by Nora Ephron. Screenwriter, film maker, novelist, essayist and brilliant speaker, she was also a prolific blogger.
Her talent was a constant inspiration to many women pursuing the dream of becoming a writer and a source of tremendous enjoyment to all readers – and viewers – of her work. I love *laugh out loud* moments and Ephron was a master of the art.
The first book of hers that I read was “Heartburn”, back in the 1980’s and I’ve been a fan ever since.
Nora Ephron passed from this life today and she will be missed.
The New York Times has an excellent obituary which can be read by clicking here.
This link will take you to videos of five classic scenes from her movies. The one below is my all-time favourite from When Harry Met Sally.
The following is a list of just her film credits. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? Which one was a favourite of yours?
If it’s Friday, it must be France …
Today I’m inviting you back to beautiful Aix-En-Provence, the home of blogger/book reviewer/writer and mon amie, Claire McAlpine. Claire recently tagged me to join the Be Inspired Blog Hop. This clever idea is being hosted by Vicki Orions on her Page After Page blog, who suggested:
“All of our stories come from somewhere, whether it be a dream, another book, a life event … So, I thought why not give people the chance to talk about their inspirations as well as their stories?”
It’s such fun to hear our peers sharing details about their work, the labours of love that have consumed them while they were writing and taken them on amazing journeys, real and imagined. I loved hearing about Claire’s novel, A Piece Of The Mosaic and cannot wait for publication!
Now I will follow the rules (oh yes, I sometimes do … ) and answer 10 questions about my novel, The Bridge Club, before I tag at least five other authors. For you dear readers who have heard all of this info many times before, please bear with me!
I have to admit I would love to begin telling you about my next novel but I’ll have to be patient for a while longer until the editing process is complete. A good portion of that story takes place in France so you can imagine how much I’m dying to talk about it!
Never mind, I still LOVE talking about The Bridge Club and am thrilled that it recently was a Finalist in two more book competitions. On to the questions.
1. What is the name of your book?
The story is based on my real life Bridge Club and the 40-year friendship we have shared. It is fiction based on fact and the women of my bridge club were happy to share their stories.
3. In what genre would you classify your book?
4. If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition, who would you choose?
Oh this is great fun! Since there are 8 characters, I won’t attempt to cast all the roles but I definitely see women such as Susan Sarandon, Annette Benning, Kathy Bates, Meryl Streep, in the movie. It would be a blast! A screenwriter is actually reading the book as I write this.
5. Give us a one-sentence synopsis of your book and tell us about the setting.
Eight women, four decades of friendship, one unimaginable weekend: how far would you go to help a good friend?
The story is basically set in and around our fabulous city of Toronto but the action does cross Canada from the Eastern Townships of Quebec to the spectacular mountains of Whistler, British Columbia.
6. Is your book already published/represented?
I self-published through iUniverse in September 2010 and had a great experience with this company winning … sorry, please excuse a little horn-blowing … their Editor’s Choice, Reader’s Choice, Rising Star and Star designations. I’m pleased I used this company for my first endeavour.
7. How long did it take you to write your book?
Four years. When I first began writing I was just doing it for fun and had no intention of publishing. Also there were times when I was travelling for a few months and didn’t write during those breaks. My current MS has taken just over a year.
8. What other books within your genre would you compare it to and what do you hear from your readers?
It has been compared to The Friday Night Knitting Club and The Girls From Ames, among others; but like every book, it has its own unique qualities and a very unusual ending. The best reward of being published is hearing from readers who want to express their reactions and thoughts about your work. I love this part! I’ve heard from women as young as early twenties right through to mid-eighties and they love to give examples of their own great friendships. So good! Most of them comment on the ending and the discussions their book clubs had about it or their personal thoughts on the matter. It’s that kind of response that helps you feel all the agony and ecstasy of writing was worthwhile!
9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?
Coincidentally, like Claire, I was greatly influenced by Stephen King’s “On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft”. When I first began writing seriously I attended a few workshops and, without fail, his book would be highly recommended. I found it very inspiring and the most important lesson for me was his advice to simply sit down and write your story, if you feel you have one to tell. Get it on paper and don’t worry about whether it is good or bad until you have finished. Then have an editor look at it and you will soon have your answer.
10. Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book.
The ending will certainly get your attention as it is controversial and thought- provoking. It’s not chick lit and I wouldn’t want anyone to be disappointed by thinking it is.
I really think the best thing about the story is the way it makes you think about your own BFFs! How lucky are we to have each other?
You may recognize yourself or a friend or two on the pages. The story celebrates friendship and reaffirms that no matter what age you are, there’s nothing like having some fabulous girlfriends whose trust is a given and whose laughter and compassion carry you through whatever life has in store.
Now I’m tagging some writers who are all part of my incredibly supportive and talented WANA community. This time I’m breaking the rules though and tagging more than I’m supposed to because I want you to know about them! They may or may not have time to participate but at least they will be on your radar.
As I began this list, I realized I have so many other incredible names to share with you I’m going to give you another list next week. After all, we can never have too many good books in our TBR pile.
That list will keep you going for a while and there will be more coming! Who inspires you? If you have a name to add, please share it with us. Bon weekend, tout le monde!
© 2020 by Patricia Sands. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author. All photographs on this site are copyright of Patricia Sands