Researching the expat novel
I’ve known Anne Louise O’ Connell for a while now, first meeting her when I visited Dubai to run a writing workshop that she had offered to run for me. That was when I realised Anne was both efficient and a great researcher. Since then Anne went on to write @home in Dubai for us, which was published in 2011. Non-fiction seemed so much her natural genre that I was pleasantly surprised she went on to not only write and self-publish a novel, Mental Pause, but that it won an award too. Now, fiction seems very much her comfort zone and Deep Deceit was published earlier this year. I’d loved Mental Pause because not only was it a witty tongue-in-cheek stab at what menopause can do to a woman’s sanity but because it was a page-tuner. Plot and pace are Anne’s watchwords.
Deep Deceit by Anne Louise O’Connell
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To move from the efficiency and research of @home in Dubai to two novels reliant on research was maybe not such a leap for Anne. However, while she wrote about Dubai while living there, I wonder whether she had first hand experience of peri-menopause and how she managed to write in such detail about Dubai and Saudi while no longer living in Dubai and never having visited Saudi. Intrigued, I will hand you over to Anne, who will explain how she tackled her research:
Use Research for Fact-Checking and Adding Spice
Did you know that Anne runs the Phuket Paradise Writers’ Retreat?
As if I ever need an excuse for a holiday disguised as work, I was delighted when Anne started this weekly retreat in Phuket, where she now makes her home. Each year I run a workshop on the last day and this time, in October, I’ll be teaching about writing memoir, while Anne teaches fiction for the other days of the retreat. This will be my third year in a row and takes place at the end of October this time. Come and join us!
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