Ask the Author: Annelies Pool

“Ask me a question.” Annelies Pool

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Annelies Pool Free Love is a story about a women recovering from alcoholism in Yellowknife (Northwest Territories, Canada) in the 1980s. I am a recovering person myself so, although all the characters and events are fictional, this story is very personal to me. It has taken me 10 years to write but I have been thinking about it for a lifetime.

Like many northern and isolated communities, Yellowknife is a party town and alcoholism is a huge and very visible problem here. What is not so visible is the recovery community which mostly operates under the radar.

I wanted to write about the recovery community, about how people are pulled out of despair and learn to lead responsible lives; about the love that develops as people help each other; the bonds people form across differences in culture, religion and status. I wanted to write a story of hope to offset the stories of despair that are so readily seen in the streets (of Yellowknife and communities everywhere), and while "Free Love" does not shy away from the tragedy of alcoholism, it is essentially a story of hope. This story of hope plays out not only in Yellowknife but in communities around the world.

Annelies Pool In a million different ways: the quality of sunlight as it shines on a building; conversations I overhear in a restaurant; experiences that move me; characters and thoughts that leap into my head; strange things I see in shopping malls; things my friends say and do; the peace of the northern wilderness and the rush of the city. . . inspiration never stops.
Annelies Pool My main goal at the moment is to promote my current book "Free Love." Self-promotion does not come naturally to me. In fact, I'd rather have a root canal. However, I do think "Free Love" is worth promoting so I soldier on. But I have these two characters, Marty and Jen, whom I absolutely love and haven't spent enough time with. I'm about 60 pages into writing their story. I haven't looked at that work in a long time but am excited about getting back to it soon. It's tentatively called "All I wanted to do was write a love story" and it plays with reality a little. At least so far.
Annelies Pool Read! Read! Read! Everything you can get your hands on. And write. Put words on the page and keep at it, day after day, week after week, month after month. No matter how you feel, keep writing. There's really no shortcut for this.
Annelies Pool I am more of an intuitive writer, rather than someone who figures everything out at the beginning and then works from an outline. I start with a vague idea and my writing process usually involves periods of flailing when everything seems mundane, I have no idea where a story is going and I question my right to exist, not only as a writer but as a human being. Then there is a moment when everything falls into place and the story or chapter I'm working on comes into sharp focus. I know exactly what the story is and what's going to happen and the words flow through me like mercury. I love that stage. It is like being favoured by the gods.

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