Writer || Sunday Times bestselling ghost || Orwell Prize Nominee. Debut novel THE IMPOSTER
Follow Anna on Twitter @whartonswords
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Ghosting memoirs for other people is my 'day job' -- I'm probably best known for ghosting Wendy Mitchell's Somebody I Used to Know.
I moonlight with fiction. My debut novel, THE IMPOSTER, was published by Mantle in April 2021. It is the story of Chloe, an archivist on a local newspaper who leads a pretty dull life caring for her nan and filing away cuttings in the newspaper's archive. She becomes a little obsessed with the story of Angela Kyle, a four-year-old girl who went missing 25 years before. The girls parents have never given up hope of her safe return. When Chloe's nan is taken into care, she gets a little 'too close' to the family of the missing girl, let's say...
I won't tell you what happens next but the rumours about 'that ending' are all true!
What are you currently working on?
I'm at the very early stages of a novel which straddles two timelines -- a present day one and one set in 1960. The book is set in Turkey, where I lived in my twenties, and it is SO nice to be somewhere hot and sunny at the moment, even if only in my head. The fictional characters in my story are set amongst some real ones, so let's see how that goes...
Which six books will you take to the Island?
I'll have a book of Greek Myths please, I wish I knew these stories inside out! I read them with my daughter in my attempt to ensure she has a better grasp of the stories that informed our Western literature than I ever had.
I must take some Deborah Levy -- is it possible to have her living autobiography trilogy? I've just finished reading Real Estate and the moment I did I could have started right back at the beginning again, which is how I felt about the others too.
I just read an amazing book for some research called The Lost Ships by Peter Throckmorton. It was published in the 1960s and is all about diving shipwrecks in the Aegean. The old photographs are amazing, I could look at them all day, and it might give me some ideas when I'm bored on the desert island for what lies offshore.
I Am a Bunny by Richard Scarry -- it's a board book that I read to my daughter when she was a baby and it will remind me of her.
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir... it's on my bookshelf, I've been meaning to read all those great tomes by that particular wave of feminist writers
Ok, I'm going to need some short stories.... the complete works of Shirley Jackson (a book I have just invented) would be useful, likewise the complete works of George Saunders (I invented that too)... I have a huge tome of Major American Short Stories which does already exist and has so many greats in it. Maybe that will suffice.
What disc will you take?
Ok, it's a random pick, Night Begins to Shine by B.E.R. It's from my eight-year-old daughter's favourite cartoon series Teen Titans Go! and if i must be parted from her to be on this desert island, then I need to take a song that reminds me of her and all the times we've sung it together (me: loudly and embarrassingly).
What luxury item will you take?
Is a toothbrush and toothpaste too practical? Or perhaps I could fashion one out of a branch or something. My first thought was mascara, but I could make some out of squid ink or something... let's just say a decent sun lounger with a nice pillow attachment. I've got a bad back at the moment and comfort is king.
Which fictional character do you spend a few hours with before being rescued?
Well, I mean, it's a desert island, I'm there sans enfant... shall I have Theo from The Pisces just for a bit of fun?
And of course to stick with the marine theme, and you know, I've got that sun lounger just sitting there...