AnneMarie Brear has been a life-long reader and started writing in 1997 when her children were small. She has a love of history, of grand old English houses and a fascination of what might have happened beyond their walls. Her interests include reading, genealogy, watching movies, spending time with family and eating chocolate – not always in that order!
Q. What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
Having lived in England, I was fortunate to travel to many places of historical interest where I’ve set my books. York in Yorkshire is one of my favourite places and was situated only an hour’s drive from where I lived so I was able to travel there quite often and walk the streets my characters did. I also visited a great many country house estates which helped my research enormously.
Q. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Probably as a small child and learning to read and make up stories. My mother own a bookshop so I was surrounded by books all my childhood and was transported by the stories I read.
Q. What did you edit out of this book?
Nothing, really. When I first started writing my stories were huge, far too long for publishing and I was always being told by editors to cut the word count, which is so hard to do. Now, after years of practice I know how to write a story to the required word count that is considered more suitable for the publishing standards.
Q. On your writing journey, what has been the lowest and the most painful moment and vice versa?
The lowest would be when my UK agent died just as I was starting my career. That was a set back I wasn’t expecting and it took me a long time to get over it. The high was getting a review from a reader saying my books reminded her of Catherine Cookson’s book, an author I loved reading as a teenager back in the 80s. Another high was seeing my first hardcover book cover, it was perfect. Another high was holding my first book in my hands for the first time – actually that doesn’t ever get old. I love seeing each book arrive.
The Slum Angel
Orphan, Victoria Carlton is brought up by her uncle, a banker, to be a lady and make a good marriage. Yet, she is drawn to help the poor families in the slums, much to her family’s disgust. When her uncle dies suddenly, her cousins blame Victoria, and she is thrown out of the house with nothing.
Victoria flees to the poor side of York to start again in a world that is full of perils. To combat the heartache of being without her family, she befriends the destitute women and children in the slums, but such friendships come with the danger of disease, and increasing poverty, and the threat of a brutal man could cost her everything.
Can Victoria find the security she has lost? Will a certain doctor be the man she can give her heart to? Or will the ghosts of the past return to take away everything she has worked so hard for?