anna-osborneHi, as it’s the penultimate day of my blog party, you might think we’d all be starting to flag, but you’d be wrong. Things are actually getting madder by the minute. My second guest today is the writer, Anna Osborne. Anna’s brought along her dogs, Dylan and George. What an interesting choice for her two items. What’s more – they’re dressed in Christmas jumpers! Fortunately, I have a fairly substantial property, with many rooms, so we’ve managed to pop Jo and Llainy’s cats in another wing, (yeah, you wish, Sue!) Robert’s karaoke machine has given all the guests a new lease of life, and we’ve been especially entertained by Martin and Emma’s rendition of Greased Lightning’. The second item that I myself brought to the party, along with the giant Jenga game, was a ridiculously large box of Du Rhône Chocolatier Marrons Glacés. Needless to say, they’ve all been eaten. To be honest, this lot are working their way through the buffet like a plague of locusts. It’s very lucky I’m fond of them, I’ve never seen champagne disappear so fast!

Whilst we wait to see who’s up next for some singing, let’s look at Anna’s Q&As.

What is the first book you remember reading or having read to you? I remember Mrs Terry, my wonderful supply teacher at primary school (the rest were Horrible) reading me The Voyage of the Dawn Treader when I was 9. It made a huge impression on me and this summer I began reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to my kids and really appreciated how much better these stories are when read out loud. I then went on to read them Finn Family Moomintroll (another story written to be read with cuddles in bed) and we haven’t looked back – despite one of my kids being in his teens… these stories are timeless.

What are you currently reading? Lord of the Rings – again. And again, and again … supposing Frodo doesn’t make it this time …??

Where are you happiest? In those moments when you are singing a solo and you realise that people are listening, really listening, and loving it. Singing is something I have always wanted to do, and the little bit of solo work that I have done, both with my choir gigs and with my singing teacher’s showcases, have been the most terrifying but the most exhilarating experiences of my life. You feel so desperately exposed – so the rush of pleasure when you do it well is unprecedented…

Describe your best ever holiday. This one is easy., One year, my husband and I bought our dream boat – a proper red sails in the sunset job. We cajoled the ferry company into making space for us and trailed it down to France where we spent hours sailing in the sun, watching the kids jump off it late in the evening sun, sleeping on it with just sleeping bags under the stars…. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

If I joined you on your perfect day, what would we be doing? Husky dog sledding in the Arctic Circle. My husband and I did this for my 40th birthday – it wasn’t an exclusive trip but no one else booked on it (!!) so it was just us and the guide – we had our own dog teams and sledded, absolutely silently, through the most incredible vistas for 4 days. Give me a day and that’s where we’d be….

What do you think is the best thing about social media? Sooo easy to keep in touch with my family and friends all over the world, so easy to dip in and out of each other’s lives.

And the worst…?! The addiction….

What is the most important item you require for a quiet night in? Appropriate mood lighting – be it firelight, candles, a warm glow of a reading light over your book – I hate sitting in the wrong light!!!!!

What’s your signature dish? Quorn chilli. Takes 10 minutes to prepare, and it freezes well so you can cook it in advance so no sweat on the night….  dead easy and really healthy.   No nasty ‘didn’t I mention I was veggie moments…’  UNLESS some eejit doesn’t mention their intolerance to Quorn – it’s only gone really wrong once….

Thanks for those answers, Anna. By the sounds of it, we need to clear the stage so that you can do some singing. What do you fancy? ‘Dancing Queen’ is always popular …

Your husky trip sounds amazing, although possibly a little chilly! Get it? 😉

You can find out more about Anna by visiting her website Goosewing Publications.

walking-wounded-bookAnna’s debut novel is called Walking Wounded. It’s a war story and family saga based on family folklore mainly from Anna’s mother’s side of the family. The idea was born whilst walking on a D-Day beach waiting for a ferry back to England after a camping holiday in France, describing to her children the events of D-Day, and how three of her great-uncles stormed that very beach. Anna’s husband looked at her and said, ‘It’s time you wrote this down …’

I wish you every success with the book, Anna.

It’s the last day of my blog party tomorrow. As it’s a Friday, there’ll be three guests. Plus, I’ve heard we might have a visit from Jessica Hastings, she’s one of the characters from my latest novel ‘Love Them and Leave Them.’ I hope to see you all tomorrow …

Check out my full guest list here.

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