At fifteen, she made a life-changing decision. Thirty years on, it’s time to make another.
When Diana escaped her misfit childhood, she thought she’d chosen the easier path. But the past lingers on, etched beneath her skin, and life won’t be worth living if her secret gets out.
As an adult, she’s kept other people at a distance… until Simon sweeps in on a cloud of promise and possibility. But his work is taking him to Cairo, the city that transformed her life. She’ll lose Simon if she doesn’t join him. She’ll lose herself if she does.
Sugar and Snails charts Diana’s unusual journey, revealing the scars from her fight to be true to herself. A triumphant mid-life coming-of-age story about bridging the gap between who we are and who we feel we ought to be.
When and where do you prefer to write?
I’m a daytime writer, sitting – or standing – in my lovely study overlooking the front garden. In the summer it’s a sea of wildflowers with, for a few glorious weeks, a flowering cherry in the background.
Do you need peace and quiet when you are writing?
I do. I struggle in noisy environments whatever I’m doing, so I’m lucky to have a quiet place to write. (You couldn’t make this up: a chainsaw has just started in my neighbour’s garden!)
What is your favourite and least favourite genre?
I prefer accessible literary and book group fiction which, conveniently, is also what I write. I avoid anything sickly-sweet and I’m triggered by tales of adversity that end in a dishonest happy-ever-after.
Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?
With my surname, it has to be the good one. Although, if it’s satire, bad would be better.
Where can I find you when you are reading?
On a reclining chair in my living room with a cup of tea within reach or, weather permitting, in my back garden beside the pond.
Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?
You could find me in the Peak District National Park, where I lead a guided walk around Jane Eyre territory, or hidden among the proper sopranos in a classical choir.
What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?
Did I write that? Is it real? I’m like a child at Christmas and, I’m glad to say, it’s almost as exciting with the fourth book as with the first.
How do you come up with a title for your book?
It evolves over time, until I have something I’m not too embarrassed to mention to potential readers. The title of my debut novel, Sugar and Snails, is a play on a nursery rhyme about stereotypical gender roles. People who have read the novel and know the rhyme agree it’s a perfect fit, but someone once berated me at a bookstall because she thought I was promoting sugar.
How do you pick a cover for your book?
All my books so far are published by small independent press, Inspired Quill, who actively involve authors in production decisions. I get to state my preferences in advance and make the final decision in conjunction with the publisher, Sara-Jayne Slack. Vince Haig designed the covers of my first two novels and Valeria Aguilera designed the third. For my short story collection, we chose an off-the-peg cover from Paper & Sage Designs. Vince captured the story of my debut novel, Sugar and Snails, perfectly with an image of a middle-aged woman superimposed on the child she used to be.
What is the title of the next book on your to read pile?
It’s likely to be The Lobster’s Shell by Caroline Albertine Minor translated from the Danish by Caroline Waight. I’ll review it on my blog Annecdotal and promote again for Women in Translation Month in August.
Thank you, Anne Goodwin
About the author
Anne Goodwin writes entertaining fiction about identity, mental health and social justice. She is the author of three novels and a short story collection published by small independent press, Inspired Quill. Her debut novel, Sugar and Snails, was shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her new novel, Matilda Windsor Is Coming Home, is inspired by her previous incarnation as a clinical psychologist in a long-stay psychiatric hospital. Subscribers to her newsletter can download a free e-book of prize-winning short stories.
YouTube: Anne Goodwin’s YouTube channel
Link tree https://linktr.ee/annecdotist
Amazon author page: viewauthor.at/AnneGoodwin
Publisher Inspired Quill
Publisher Inspired Quill (paperback and e-book) http://www.inspired-quill.com/product/sugar-and-snails/
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B010O8F9M6/
Amazon India https://www.amazon.in/dp/B010O8F9M6/
Amazon Australia https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B010O8F9M6/
Amazon Canada https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B010O8F9M6/