Introducing my new friend Anni Stewart. Anni is the author of two books about a sea witch, they are aimed at children aged eight to thirteen but I have just started reading the first one to my seven year old and she’s loving it. I’m also excited to learn that Anni is writing an adult book, more about that later…
Anni trained as a Probation Officer and went on to enjoy a thirty year career with the Probation Service. In her free time she studied with the Open University concentrating on art history and literature. On completion of the course she was awarded a BA. She has two sons and two granddaughters. She currently lives in Suffolk with her partner.
An avid reader from an early age, Anni loves nothing better than to bury her head in a book and disappear into the story. For several years she and her granddaughters spent summer holidays in the Suffolk coastal town of Aldeburgh. On arrival at their holiday home their first trip would be to The Aldeburgh Bookshop where they would each select a book. This selection was then supplemented by Anni’s own bedtime stories, a favourite one being about a sea witch. Having recently retired she found that she had time to write as well as read and decided to expand the story into a book.
In writing The Sea Witch, her love of the South Devon coast, her experiences of summer holidays with her grandchildren in Aldeburgh and her work in the Criminal Justice System, have all served to feed her imagination. In addition she has drawn upon her own childhood fantasies that had her searching for witches who might have been hiding behind the wardrobe or under the bed!
The Sea Witch is a children’s fantasy with a scary twist that follows the friendship between twelve year old twins, Ellie and Lucy, and Mia, a sea witch. When their new friend Sandy goes missing the three girls are determined to find her. Mia must draw on every ounce of her witchery if they are to outwit the kidnappers and save Sandy from harm. Can they do it? Mia might be a sea witch but she is very young and only just getting the hang of spells. But the clock is ticking…
Sea witch Mia and her brother Gi become involved in the rescue of eight illegally imported puppies from the cellar where they are being held. Mia has sought the help of her friend Sandy, a customs officer. Soon Sandy is asking for Mia and Gi’s help in finding her neighbour’s missing four year old daughter Phoebe. The country area where Phoebe lives has been searched without success and police now think she may have been abducted. Sandy, however, believes that Phoebe is close by. Will they be able to find Phoebe before nightfall?
The New Book…
Today the sun is shining and has brought wonderful warmth to the summer house, otherwise known as my writing den. It’s where I have spent many, many hours over the past two years writing my children’s books, The Sea Witch 1 and 2, as well as watching the comings and goings of all the garden birds. So today, here I am once more. The sun is warm and I am making a start on a third book.
When the two children’s books were published I was surprised at how many adults love fantasy adventure stories and bought my books as much for themselves as for their children. So, The Sea Witch 3 may well happen sometime in the future but for now I have set myself a challenge to write a fantasy for adults.
An adult fantasy – a great idea but about what? I struggled to think of an interesting/exciting plot. Many ideas were committed to paper and then scrubbed out, that is until the day I visited a favourite place, a local barn that had been converted to provide a tea shop, gift shop and garden centre.
During the night there had been an incident inside of The Barn that had caused items displayed on shelving to crash to the ground. There was no evidence of an intruder nor was there anything to raise concern outside of the building. The incident that had been captured on the security camera showed items tumbling from the shelves as if of their own volition. Also shown was a large slightly hazy white orb hovering high at the end of the room…and the first seeds of the book were planted.
Exciting! Thank you Anni for sharing a sneak preview of your new book, I’m looking forward to reading it.