Anne Lyken-Garner, Author of “Sunday’s Child”
Welcome, Anne. What is your book about?Sunday’s Child is the inspiring, true tale of a little girl struggling to rise above appalling living conditions, poverty, violence and abuse.
How long did it take you to write your book?
It took me just 28 days to put the content on paper. I edited it for the next year, and it took me all of 8 years to get it published after nearly 100 rejections and a couple of near misses. In fact, a couple of months after finding a publisher, another I’d contacted asked me to send the entire manuscript because they were interested to read it.
Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?
Writing a true story is obviously different from writing fiction. I didn’t want to include the mundane parts of my life which no one was interested in. I picked out the parts that made an impact on me (unfortunately, a lot of them were negative) because I felt they would also impact people who were reading it. I mainly used the people involved to tell the story. I used a lot of dialogue to give life and meaning to what they were saying. I also wanted the readers to get a genuine glimpse into the personality of the people involved, so I used the way they spoke to bring this to the fore.
How (or when) do you decide that you are finished writing a story?
I ended this part of the story when the path my life was taking took a turn in another direction. I saved this other half for the follow-up book which will be called, Fair of Face.
What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?
This is an easy one. I wrote this book to all those who feel they’re being held down by their past, whether it’s physical abuse, support deprivation, feeling unloved, downtrodden etc. I want them to see that it’s possible to lift the shackles they think you have to live under, just because they were put there by someone bigger and stronger.
What challenges did you face as you wrote this book?
The obvious challenge was exposing my life story. It’s not and will never be a comfortable thing to do. Once it’s out there, it can be perused by anyone and be open to mockery, disdain etc. People can judge you because they think they can analyse you now that they know so much about your life – even if they’ve never judged you in the past.
Do you think writing this book changed your life? How so?
Yes. It clarified my story and put the events that happened to me in my childhood in a special place – a place they belong – in the past. Now it’s all written down it doesn’t have to stay in my head anymore. It belongs on paper and that’s where I want it to stay.
What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
I don’t limit myself to a certain amount of words per day. I’m also a blogger and freelance writer, so I write to earn. I can’t say this is enjoyable writing. I feel that making myself write a number of words per day is like putting a prison sentence on my creativity. I hasten to say that this is merely a personal judgement. I know this kind of thing works well for many writers. I do have a writing timetable, which I try to stick to.
Do you prefer to write at a particular time of day?
Yes, any time of day when the kids are not around
What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on a healthy eating programme I will be contracted to write. I wrote it a few years ago, but I want to put some additional information in. I’m also waiting for the go-ahead to put in the final edits on my book about raising children, based on my qualifications and experience as a youth counsellor/worker. Also, after marketing Sunday’s Child I’ll be re-writing the follow-up to get it ready for next year.
Where can we find out more about you?
You can find me on my How To Build Confidence blog. All my confidence-building articles here are gleaned from my life’s experiences, which have taught me that your past doesn’t have to shape who you are today.