Welcome the Lovely Sarah Ann Watts to Friends Friday today, she’s going to tell us all about her love of books!
I’ m excited and terrified. Next month – whisper it quietly – I have a story coming out. Not the first time this has happened – but the first time when it is my name on the cover. This time I’m flying solo and that is scary but kind of fun too. All right – I admit – I’m thrilled.
Of course the ‘flying solo’ isn’t true. I could do an Oscar speech – maybe cry even – thanking everyone who has helped me with my writing journey but in the midst of my hands over eyes shyness there is the, ‘how did this happen?’ and, ‘how did it happen to me?’
Where does a life-long obsession with books begin?
I could blame my mother who told me, ‘books are friends’ and took me to the library before I could walk. Or my father who wrote letters to me before I could talk, let alone read and told me bedtime stories. I used to lie in wait for him like Christopher Robin on the bottom stair when he came in from work. ‘Read to me?’ and he always did. It might be the dragon-like infant teacher who coaxed me laboriously through ‘Here is Peter. Here is Jane’ and traumatised me with the tale of Theseus and the Minotaur.
Fantasy comics read in summer holiday dawns before anyone else was awake. Fairy Tales in Yellow, Blue and Pink and ‘A Gift from Winklesea’. Possibly the first book I ever read by myself and never forgot. Christmas books and birthday books – ‘The Jungle Book’ and ‘The Hobbit’ and later, ‘The Moonstone’. As a teenager, lying awake all night after listening to M R James, with the classroom darkening in the brief light of a winter’s afternoon
I’d like to say I got to read anything I wanted to – and mostly it was true. There was the time I chose a sensational romance as a school prize. I was summoned by the head teacher and compelled to swap it for ‘something more suitable’. I don’t remember what it was I chose and why it was so shocking. Maybe that’s why I write – because I’m still looking for the book that got away?
Sarah Ann Watts is a UK writer who writes fantasy, science fiction and romance. She lives in Yorkshire with her family and grew up in a small seaside town with a library and a bookshop. Early influences included the fabulous Mary Renault, Mary Stewart and a teacher who read everything from Saki to M R James in class and encouraged her to write. The rest is fiction.
Visit her website at www.sarahannwatts.com
and find her on Facebook here