Today is my stop on the Songs of Innocence blog tour and I am pleased to welcome Anne Coates on to the blog with a quick interview! She’s come up with some intriguing answers!
What is your favourite thing about writing books?
I love creating a fictional world. I start off in control then the characters take over and lead me down avenues I hadn’t consciously thought of. And best of all it is discussing the books with people who’ve read and enjoyed them. It’s a real honour that people have invested time in your world.
Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
I feel I should say that, like a parent, I don’t have favourites. But, of course, I do which is why some characters from the first novel, Dancers in the Wind, appear in subsequent books. It’s usually the “minor” characters whom I find appealing. I like DI Claudia Turner (although I noted that some readers find her off-putting) and I think she has a lot more to offer. Plus I love creating male characters I can fall a little bit in love with.
What is your favourite drink to consume while writing?
Coffee is my preference during the day. How well the writing is going can be judged by how many cups of cold coffee there are around me! If I’m writing during the evening I may be tempted to a G&T or a glass of wine.
Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing?
Sitting down for long periods of time – does nothing for my fitness levels. Plus I tend to snack and I have elevated prevarication to an art form.
How do you research your books?
Ideas for my books have usually sprung from articles I wrote and researched as a journalist. As these books are set in the 90s, I do monitor facts and dates. Also, I check names which were popular when a character was born. I am very fortunuate in that I have friends in a wide range of professions and they very generously allow me to pick their brains. But I don’t get hung up on research. It’s more important for me to immerse myself in characters and plot.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Definitely a pantster although halfway through a book I often wish I wasn’t and do some Mind Mapping using lots of colours. My first draft is terrible but with Songs of Innocence I had a good time line in that all the action takes place in May 1994 and as the protagonist Hannah Weybridge is working in a news room some of the time, real events are mentioned (including football matches). So while I was writing the second draft I had days and dates highlighted and written at the top of each chapter which I removed later.
If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?
This is a tricky one. At the moment with so much uncertainty and horror in the world I think it would be wonderful to go back in time when life was less complicated. So for some fun and romance I’d go for Jane Austin’s world in Pride and Prejudice (as long as I wasn’t a servant!).
If you could befriend any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
Like so many readers, I fell in love with Anya Lipska’s character Janusz Kiszka. He is someone you’d love to have on your side and I wouldn’t ask too many questions if he sorted out a problem or two for me!
About the book
A woman’s body is found in a lake. Is it a sad case of suicide or something more sinister? Hannah Weybridge, still reeling from her friend’s horrific murder and the attempts on her own life, doesn’t want to get involved, but reluctantly agrees to look into the matter for the family.
The past however still stalks her steps, and a hidden danger accompanies her every move.
The third in the bestselling Hannah Weybridge thriller series, Songs of Innocence provides Hannah with her toughest and deadliest assignment yet…
About the Author
Reading and writing has been Anne Coates’ passion for as long as she can remember. Instilled and inspired by her mother and by the Deputy Head at her secondary school who encouraged her hunger for reading by granting her free access to the books not yet in the school library, and she feels still grateful for this, in her eyes, amazing privilege.
After her degree in English and French, Anne moved to London to stay. During her career she worked for publishers, as a journalist, writer, editor, and translator. The birth of her daughter, Olivia inspired her to write non-fiction books, such as ‘Your Only Child’ (Bloomsbury, 1996), books about applying to and surviving university (NeedtoKnow, 2013), but also short stories, tales with a twist, and stories exploring relationships, published in two collections by Endeavour Press (2015).
The sometimes strange places Anne visited as a journalist often made her think “What if…” And so, investigative journalist Hannah Weybridge was born… The Hannah Weybridge series currently consists of three books, all published by Urbane Publications: ‘Dancers in the Wind’ (2016), ‘Death’s Silent Judgement’ (2017), and ‘Songs of Innocence’ (2018).
Anne Coates lives in London with three demanding cats and enjoys reading, going to the theatre and cinema, wining and dining.