Annemarie Allan Interview

by Discover Kelpies - May 26th, 2010.
Filed under: Anne Forbes, Annemarie Allan, April 2010, Book of the Month, Ushig, Witch Silver.

Just in case you missed Annemarie Allan’s interview, when her latest book Ushig was Book of the Month in April, you can check it out again here!

Claire, aged 10, from Inverness: How long did it take you to write Ushig?

Annemarie Allan [AA]: There was an awful lot of stuff to do before I actually started writing. I had to find out all about Scottish myths, then I had to find my characters and my story inside my head. I spent a lot of time just thinking about things then more time organising the way I thought the story would go. All of that probably took at least six months, before I was ready to sit down and write. And then, once I had finished, I had to go back to the beginning because a lot of things had changed on my way to the end of the story. All in all, it took me at least a year before I felt the story was finished.

James, aged 9, from Prestonpans: How many books have you written?

AA: Six novels. Three of them (Hox, Breaker and Ushig) have been published. 

Lauren, aged 12, from Stirling: Do you plan out all of your stories in advance?

AA: Yes, but if the plan is the road I’m supposed to follow, I keep veering off into side tracks, dead ends and sometimes the whole story takes a completely different direction and I find myself travelling without a map. If that happens, I usually go back, though, and try to make a new map.

Chris, aged 11, from Haddington: Why did you decide to become an author?

AA: I didn’t decide to become an author – I wrote because it was something I love to do. It can be very hard work, but it’s worth it!

Ryan, aged 10, from Edinburgh: If you hadn’t been an author what do you think you would have been instead?

AA: I have been lots of other things! All my life I’ve had to fit the writing part around lots of other obligations – jobs, family…

Sarah, aged 11, from Glasgow: Where does the title ‘Ushig’ come from?

AA: The Gaelic name for a water wraith, or kelpie, is Each Uishge [pronounced ach ishkeh]. I wanted to find something that came close to that.

Megan, aged 10, from Edinburgh: Who is your favourite character and why?

AA: I think the character I am most pleased with is probably Ushig himself – I wanted to write about someone with the potential to be both good and evil, someone who had to make choices about who he wanted to be. It was hard to write a character like that, but I was pleased with him in the end!

Chloe, aged 8, from North Berwick: Who is your favourite author and what is your favourite book?

AA: Tough question, because my favourite tends to be the last good book I read. If it’s modern writers, I would probably list Diana Wynne Jones, Neil Gaiman, Gill Arbuthnott and Marcus Sedgewick. My favourite book from last year was The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

Lexi, age 13, from Bearsden: If you had to choose an actor to play Ellen in an Ushig movie, who would it be?

AA: Well, Ellen is eleven years old and small for her age…it’s a tough question, since an awful lot of movies are animations nowadays. How about the girl who played Lucy in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe? Just hang on a minute while I go online and find out her name… ah – Georgie Henley. She’s a little bit posh, though I suppose if she’s an actor she can change the way she speaks.

Aimee, aged 8, from North Berwick: What is the best part of being an author?

AA: Well, finishing a new book is terrific, but meeting your readers is one of the best things in the world!

posted by: Chani at Discover Kelpies

P.S – The latest Book of the Month is Witch Silver by Anne Forbes. You can read about her writing process and how she feels about nearing the end of the Dragonfire series in the Book of the Month author interview.

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