This month I am soley reaching out to women that I think are doing something great and women that don’t recieve enough regonition for their work in the creative industry and in every day life. I reached out to Annika Spalding the author of Shattered Dreams to find out little bit more.
Hi Annika thank you for your interview and Happy International Womens Day
First of all for all of your new readers and people just getting to know your books can you tells us Shattered Dreams?
Shattered Dreams is a novel about a woman who leaves an abusive relationship and returns in a bid to rebuild her life and rebuild her relationship with her family. The idea of the book is that you should be able to read and relate to it or a character in some way, shape or form. I am passionate about domestic violence and have worked within that area for years supporting women and children affected by it, so I hope that by reading my book it can encourage women to take steps to access support. I know it has helped some women do this, and I am so happy about that.
Is Shattered Dreams your first published book?
Yes, Shattered Dreams is my first published book. I self published, after four years of writing it on and off I just wanted to see it out there. My second book The Soaring Butterfly is an anthology, full of very personal poems and is also available to buy directly from Amazon.
What inspired you to start writing?
I have always had a love of reading and writing from a very young age. I kept diaries growing up, and have always been scribbling away in a note book of some kind. What I love most about writing is the freedom it gives me to express myself.
My biggest inspiration is life and how people deal with situations thrown at them. I get a lot of inspiration from women. I know so many strong women who have been through a hell of a lot and still working hard at trying to get the best future for themselves and their children. I have known and know women who have overcome major life challenges and are still going strong when it would have been understandable to have given up. I find strength and inspiration in so many of the people I’m friends with or have met, and they don’t even realise how much I’m in awe of them. So when I write, I feel like I writing for the women to empower and to be able to read my books and feel like they can relate completely.
For upcoming writers that may want to get their book published or just want recognition, how easy or difficult is it these days to have your book noticed?
It can be difficult to get your book out there, if you do it the traditional way e.g. via a literary agent or publisher director. I self published because I was too impatient to spend a long time sending to literary agents, also because I can take full control of how it is promoted and where it is sold. I’m still in the very early stages of marketing it though and I am currently working on a strategy to really get it out there for people to take notice.
Describe your writing style and how would you describe yourself as an author?
I believe my writing style is very honest, real and relatable. I write from the heart and in a way in which (I hope, anyway) that you can read the first few sentences of my book and be hooked. Those are the kind of books I like to read, the ones you just can’t put down, and I’ve been told that my book is that kind of read.
As an author, I’m not really sure what to say here.
I guess I would say I am very modest at the moment, I don’t think it has sunk in that people have actually read my work. As a person I am very sincere, positive and warm, and I hope that comes across when people meet me. My second book The Soaring Butterfly, which is a collection of personal poems, gives you more of an insight into who I am and what I’m about.
Which do you prefer poetry, fiction or non fiction and why?
This is a difficult one! I guess it depends on what mood I’m in. I enjoy all those genres actually. My love for poetry has grown over the last year because I’ve been attended spoken word events and I love the beauty of spoken word performance. I do love a good fiction book to get lost in, so I would probably say that is my first love.
Now with this week being National Reading Week, how important is it to encourage children to read more?
It is incredibly important to encourage children to read more; I don’t think they read enough! As a child, I loved to read and always had my head in a book. I read well at school and remember reading at levels older than what was expected for my age. I am very lucky because my mum and Nan really encouraged me to read, bought me books and took me to the library. When I was old enough to go myself, I did and I took out adult books because the ones appropriate for my age didn’t interest it.
The great thing about reading is that it helps you with your spelling! This is why I need to read more!
I encourage my children to read, they have a lot of books. My youngest child enjoys being read to, she’s too young to read but already has a favourite book. My oldest child is learning to read, and it is so important that I encourage her because I want her to get lost in stories like I did when I was little.
Don’t know if you are aware of local libraries closing as part of government cuts, how do you feel about that and how do we keep reading alive?
I honestly don’t think local libraries are used enough, it is such shame. I think there is so much technology these days that people have completely forgotten what we used to do before. I know a lot of people have Kindles now and read that way, so that is one way of keeping reading alive. I do prefer a real book though.
I wonder if it would be beneficial to have local community book clubs and reading groups for people of all ages. I know they push reading in schools, but wouldn’t it be fabulous to be part of a local group that encourages reading with your children etc.
What can we expect from you in the future?
In the future…Well all I can say at this point is that this year is going to be full of amazing things for me, so it is best to follow me on Twitter, Tumblr or add me on FB(Facebook) or email me to keep up with what’s going on.
I plan to release the sequel to my first book later this year, and have some top secret plans underway too. Watch this space!
Lastly tell us where we can contact you?
Thank you for your time Annika and I’m looking forward to reading Shattered Dreams as I’ve just began reading it.
Hope you love it!
All the best
Grab your copy of Shattered Dreams from amazon here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shattered-Dreams-Annika-Spalding/dp/1494324407#_