Anita Horan was raised by a lake in NSW in a highly religious, tight knit community. She moved to Tasmania to become a missionary with her family, and was engaged to be married. Everything fell apart and Anita spent years trying to stitch her life back together. She discusses topics often avoided, like sensitivity versus aggression, adult bullying in social environments, the pain of losing faith and fear of mortality. She is a great Italian storyteller and very funny, so lifts the intensity of her themes with lighthearted stories. She is married with two teenage children and has three autobiographical published books that are all entwined. Anita has started a new podcast called ‘Two Authors Talk.’
Where are you from?
“Outer Sydney, Australia”
When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
“I started writing adventure stories when I was young, but never finished them. I loved writing lengthy letters to my family, then I started submitting letters to newspapers and magazines, everything I submitted was published. I wrote biographies for a community magazine for a couple of years and received positive feedback. But it was unpaid and taking up a lot of my time, so I started writing my own books. I loved the freedom of talking about whatever I wanted.”
What is your favorite genre to read/write?
“I love reading memoir mostly as finding out about other people’s lives, helps me to understand myself. I also like to read well written mysteries. For my own writing, I enjoy interviewing and writing biographies about other people and including them in my own memoirs.”
What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
“Focusing and the seeming endless editing.”
Who/What inspired The Is This Me? Trilogy?
“I went through some terrible stress with losing my faith and adult female bullying. I felt that no one knew my side of the story, or my silent suffering, and I wanted to give victims of these issues a voice. I also went through a stage of reading boring books and thought books had to be dull and avoid issues that were important to me. But then I read ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert and it was like I was struck by lightning, I thought ‘Wow, books don’t have to be boring! I am allowed to write however I like and about whatever I like.” It gave me permission to write in my own personal style about topics that interest me.”
Is there any new release we can expect in 2021 or in the future?
“I am currently editing part three of the trilogy and hope to publish it this year. It’s awesome and fun, a great counter to the intensity of part 2. And I have another book in the works after that.”
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
“A ranger. A circus performer. A full-time preacher. A writer.”
What do you think makes a great story?
“A wide and flowing vocabulary. Lots of drama. Beautiful descriptions so people can visualise the scenes. Revealing your innermost thoughts that people can relate to and in contrast, providing a whole new perspective so they can learn from you.”
Your favorite Artist and favorite song?
“I love Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson as I relate the lyrics.”
What advice can you give to an unpublished author?
“Don’t rush. Don’t pound yourself for taking a long time. Enjoy the process. Stay in your manuscript for as long as you can, take breaks to read other books and come back to yours. The more you do this, the better your book will be. Don’t get hung up on word count, one perfectly scripted sentence is better than a thousand words thrown on a page. And edit it a zillion times to find mistakes and read it after publishing too, as the process of formatting causes errors. And try to have a professional looking cover, even if it costs you. Build a network of supportive authors, as it is near impossible to sell a book even if it is incredible. You will find that reviews are an invaluable marketing tool, so be generous with reviewing other books and hopefully that goodwill will come back to you.”
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arirMskxyVE&t=2s
Most recent episode of ‘Two Authors Talk.’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZKiWqFed0A&t=502s
We want to thank Anita Horan for signing up for the Weekly Author Spotlight.
Interview done by HVDB Book Life