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I am a writer - late developer since I wasn't published until I was 50. I have now written 23 novels, numerous short stories and articles.


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Friday 13 January 2012

In 1991 Molly’s Flashings was published by Chatto and Windus.  I was lucky, far luckier than I had the sense to realise, to be involved with such a prestigious publisher.  The  MD was Carmen Callil who, rightly, was regarded as one of the most brilliant and innovative publishers in London.  One of the founders of Virago, when I met her she was revitalising Chatto and bringing it into the 20th century - it was not an easy task since there was resistance to her plans.  This great literary house was resting on its laurels and while it was all very well to be regarded as the most esteemed house it did not help pay the bills! 

I was writing my first trilogy - The Daughters of a Granite Land - when Carmen suggested that, at the same time, I write a series of books set in an English village.  “I want 18,” she said - this made me quail.  I thought about it on the long train journey back to Cornwall and by the time I arrived in Penzance, I had the makings of a plan.

Writing Molly and the sequel Hector’s Hobbies, was fun.  They are quite short and uncomplicated.  Initially the were released as by Annie Leith, so that my readership were not confused; sales, however, insisted they revert to Anita Burgh.

Sadly these are the only two of the series.  I did a stupid thing.  I was head hunted by another publisher.  The money they offered seduced me away. While they were good to me, and professional in the extreme, I now know, I should never have gone.  At Chatto with Carmen and my editor, Alison Samuel - in my opinion, the best editor in London - I was safe.  But you only learn such things when it’s too late.

Molly is now worrying about her flashings on Kindle.


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