December Member of the Month: Annie Daylon
Annie Daylon is a Newfoundlander, born and raised on the Avalon Peninsula where the majority of her latest novel, Of Sea and Seed, is set. The idea for this novel emerged when her ninety-three year old father told her a true tale of a little girl who had survived the 1929 tsunami.
Annie was a long-time teacher before she delved into writing. Her novel Castles in the Sand won the 2012 Houston Writers Guild Novel Contest and received the B.R.A.G. Medallion for excellence in indie publishing. To date, she has written forty short stories and has won, or been short-listed in, several contests. Her work appears in literary magazines and anthologies in Canada and the United States and she’s recently released a picture book titled The Many-Colored Invisible Hats of Brenda-Louise.
Annie is a member of the Federation of British Columbia Writers and the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador. She lives in the British Columbia Fraser Valley with her husband David and their dog CoCo.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I have always loved books and language. I knew I would be a writer ‘someday.’ It wasn’t until my husband was diagnosed with cancer that I clicked into the idea that the only time we have is ‘today.’
What is your genre?
I am a multigenre author. In the last eight years, I have written three novels, many short stories, and one picture book. My current novel (OF SEA AND SEED, The Kerrigan Chronicles, Book I) is a literary family saga, set in the 1920s on the island of Newfoundland. My last novel (CASTLES IN THE SAND) is a suspense-filled story of a homeless man, set in Vancouver in 2010.
What is your writing process?
I write first thing, daily. My approach is to write a complete first draft, no edits. I do my research, I write an outline, and then I fall into the story, sometimes veering from the outline.
What books have influenced your writing style the most?
There are many influences: The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber; The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx; The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins; Fall on Your Knees by Anne-Marie MacDonald; Who Has Seen the Wind by W. O. Mitchell.
Do you ever experience “writer’s block” and if so, how do you prevail?
I don’t think of it as writer’s block; I think of it as a problem to be solved. The solution is always time. Ideas need to percolate.
Are you currently working on any writing projects?
Oh yes! I am now working on Book II of The Kerrigan Chronicles (50 000 words in) and another suspense novel (30 000 words in.)
Do you have a favourite writer and if so, who and why?
I’m an avid reader and enjoy many authors, including Anne Tyler, Alice Munro, and Lisa Moore.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
In addition to a book about the business of writing, I am currently reading Where White Horses Gallop by Beatrice MacNeil and The Children of Men by P. D. James.
What advice would you give your younger writing self, based on your experiences now?
Start now. It takes a long time to develop a craft.
Do you have any advice for emerging writers?
Learn your craft and be persistent.
You can follow Annie on her website: www.anniedaylon.com