Welcome to Author's Spotlight
with Stacy Eaton
Today we have Jeanne Le Page with us from Dangerous Waters written by Anne Allen.
Jeanne, welcome! So glad you could make it today. Please tell us about the book you are in!
I’d been away from Guernsey, where I was born, for fifteen years. It had all been so awful –there’d been a terrible boating accident and I’d lost my family and been badly injured myself.
Oh no! How horrible!
I was only sixteen and couldn’t cope with all the pain and just wanted to get away even though my beloved grandmother would have looked after me.
But you didn't stay, why?
I guess I was just thinking about myself and rushed over to England to stay with my aunt, Kate. She was my mother’s older sister and had never married. Now retired from teaching she must have found me quite a handful!
A teenage girl having trouble with her father's death, I'm sure you were!
Looking back I can see that it could have been disastrous but somehow we managed. I must have pushed her hard, though – I was pretty stroppy and angry with the world. Kate had the patience of a saint and hung in there and encouraged me with my A levels and going to University.
That is great!
I’m so glad she did! A few years after I graduated I met Andy and fell in love. I moved in with him and was so happy! But then . . . it all went wrong and . .and . .we split up a couple of months before the story starts. It was just after my grandmother died suddenly.
Oh no! I'm so sorry!
I’ve been putting off going over to Guernsey even though I’ve inherited Gran’s cottage and the advocate wants me to go and sort the legal business out. Anyway, I can’t put it off any longer so off I go. As the ferry arrives in Guernsey I suffer a horrible panic attack and feel awful. You see, I suffered from post- traumatic amnesia after the accident and still haven’t remembered what happened that night. But I have had awful nightmares over the years which could be flashbacks. I just don’t know.
They sure could be.
I don’t plan to stay in Guernsey longer than it takes to sell Gran’s cottage but somehow things don’t work out like that. I’m encouraged to renovate the cottage by friends of my parents, Peter and Molly, who are being so supportive. I’ve known them since I was a child.
I'm glad they were there for you!
At the same time I meet up with an old flame from school, Marcus, and other friends and my social life takes off. I’m not ready for a new relationship but it’s nice to go out and have some fun! Then while I’m searching for Gran’s papers in the attic I come across some letters which blow me away! It takes a while, but I eventually uncover a secret that’s been buried for 60 years.
I had also wanted to find out the truth about what had happened the night my family died and decide to let Molly, a psychotherapist, hypnotise me. Then things gets really scary as someone tries to kill me!
Oh wow! You have a lot going on in this story! Tell me Jeanne, we all want to be different, so what is the one thing you wish your creator had done differently with you?
Well, she certainly put me through the mill! I know all the awful things that happened to me (and you don’t know all of it yet!) were meant to keep the readers interested but she didn’t have to live through them, did she? I bet Anne wouldn’t have coped the way I did. I admit she did create some lovely times for me too – oh! that kiss! – but I think she could have made more of them.
Still, that’s writers for you, only interested in creating a good story. And, I have to be honest here, I’m a writer too and I do it all the time in the short stories I write for magazines.
Very cool. If you could have added something to the story, and your creator would have let you, what would that have been?
I would have liked to know much more about my grandmother’s experiences during the German Occupation. Anne does give us some information but really there could have been a lot more. I think she felt it would make the story too long and possibly lose the readers’ interest but I’m not so sure. Gran and her contemporaries had a really bad time and I think they were very brave.
What do you love best about yourself? What do you like least?
Mmm, tricky question. I guess it’s my brain! I’m reasonably bright and have made a career out of writing, first as a journalist and then as a writer of mystery short stories. And now I’m writing a whole book! Wow – never thought I’d do that!
Neither did I when I first started.
What do I like least? It’s got to be my selfishness as a teenager. I should not have deserted Gran the way I did. It was so hurtful of me and I can only hope she’s forgiven me and feels proud of who I am now.
I am sure she is. What part of the book was the hardest for you and your creator to work through?
It was the realisation that someone I was quite close to could have wished me harm. Or, at least that was the way it looked. It was hard to work out how that could have happened and I think Anne really struggled with it. You know she’s a psychotherapist? It means she analyses a lot and so she had to give a lot of thought to what drove people to behave the way they did.
Is there a sequel for this book? If so, what do you want to accomplish in the next book. If not, do you wish you could continue your story?
There isn’t a sequel as Anne has already started a completely different novel, Finding Mother, about a young woman who wants to find her natural mother. It’s set predominantly in Guernsey, though, so might be interesting to readers who enjoy my book. I’m quite happy not to continue my own story at the moment. I’m in a pretty good space now and enjoying life with my new man and a girl has to have some secrets doesn’t she?!
lol.. yes she does! Thank you so much for coming to join us today!
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