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Anna Sheehan

Goodreads Author

in Milwaukee , The United States


Diana Wynne Jones

Member Since
August 2013

To tell of myself:

As Walt Whitman said, "I am large, I contain multitudes!" The epigraph of every writer, really.

I was conceived in northern Alaska, and was born to a bohemian veterinarian mother in a hospital on the shores of Lake Michigan. I endured numerous hellish years of school, and I can say with reasonable veracity that I have forgiven all my teachers and even the poor children who had to figure out how to deal with me.

Instead of a social life, I swam in books. I became a devoted follower of Diana Wynne Jones and Douglas Adams. I studied acting and Shakespeare with the Young Shakespeare Players of Madison, Wisconsin, and it deeply impacted my direction in life. I then discovered historical re-enactment, where I hung about in velvet,

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Anna Sheehan I do read reviews, though not obsessively. Mostly I consider a review a conversation with a reader -- one sided, perhaps, but I presented them with a …moreI do read reviews, though not obsessively. Mostly I consider a review a conversation with a reader -- one sided, perhaps, but I presented them with a story, and they have a response. This means that even critical reviews are not only valuable, but very intriguing, and I welcome them as much as positive reviews, particularly when they're well thought out and cogent.

Another thing that should be made clear is that I don't expect everyone to like my books. I write things that are controversial, that are thought provoking, bittersweet, sometimes disturbing, pushing the boundaries of people's comfort zones. Someone who likes the scene where my characters get all sappy will not like the scene where there's then a major betrayal, and vice versa. This means that I expect to get a lot of luke-warm and mixed reviews, where someone liked one thing and didn't like another. I'm trying to make people think.

I very much believe that if everyone who read my books liked them then I would have done something wrong. If everyone likes it, then there's nothing thought-provoking, and all I've done is write milquetoast claptrap that is only meant to please, not meant to enrich. I hope to make some people uncomfortable, or bored, or annoyed. I expect some people will be unable to handle this or that, and will put the book down. And a good critical reader might point out something that I genuinely should have repaired in the book, and if that's the case, then it's good to know it so I can evolve as a writer.

Give me critical reviews, positive, negative, mixed, and indifferent. I expect people to think, one way or another, about my books. And every reader has the right to hate my books, and say so openly. I'm a big girl. I can take a little criticism. (less)
Anna Sheehan Those plot holes are easy to fix, actually -- you go back, insert, polish, add some foreshadowing, and usually 'tisn't that difficult to repair... at …moreThose plot holes are easy to fix, actually -- you go back, insert, polish, add some foreshadowing, and usually 'tisn't that difficult to repair... at least for me. I actually tend to have a more polished first draft than most authors, I'm not sure why. Maybe I'm editing in my head, I don't know. Once I got halfway through a book on a ship, got through to the climax, and realized I'd clean FORGOTTEN to put a key character -- who was about to die heroically -- onto the ship in the first place. I'd put him in the first chapter, but forgot to get him on the ship. That was the worst time I ever had rewriting in a hole. Fortunately, he was in the synopses, so I just had to find the places he was supposed to be in, and occasionally have him chirp in a line of dialogue here and there.

The worst editing job I had was on No Life But This, where my editor wanted the book to go in a direction the book didn't want to go into. I tried and tried, but the book died every time I did. It wasn't until I switched editors -- a painful and unpleasant experience, let me tell you -- that I was able to make the book come together again. Which isn't to say that you shouldn't edit your books, or if you think you can make a change you should fight your editor anyway. I always say if you can make the book better, try, and editors usually know what they're about. (less)
Average rating: 3.81 · 7,609 ratings · 1,272 reviews · 3 distinct worksSimilar authors
A Long, Long Sleep

3.82 avg rating — 7,238 ratings — published 2011 — 31 editions
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No Life But This (UniCorp, #2)

3.31 avg rating — 254 ratings — published 2014 — 5 editions
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Spinning Thorns

3.91 avg rating — 117 ratings — published 2015 — 3 editions
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* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.

A Long Long Sleep for a Low Low Price

In good news for my American readers, my first novel – A Long Long Sleep – is on special offer again. Purchase links for Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, iBooks, and Kobo can be found in Candlewick Press’ e-Volt newsletter here.

The special price of $1.99 ends at the end of the month but, if you subscribe to future editions of the newsletter, you’ll get a new set of deals in your inbox in

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Published on February 15, 2018 17:01
A Long, Long Sleep No Life But This
(2 books)
3.81 avg rating — 7,492 ratings

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Anna Sheehan is now friends with David Boop
Spinning Thorns by Anna Sheehan
"Pardon the pun, but this story is woven together seamlessly. I love it. Anna's best novel yet! "
No Life But This by Anna Sheehan
"Your first series was so good but also so sad. It's completely unfair the fate that was dealt to both the main characters, but I think they did the best they could with what was dealt to them. And the way certain characters couldn't be together becau" Read more of this review »
Anna Sheehan answered Irina's question: Anna Sheehan
I am writing. I haven't given up yet! I had some personal life stuff which got in the way of my pro writing work. I've been writing up a storm, but none of it has been publishable, unfortunately. However, I've been working more towards pro work latel See Full Answer
No Life But This by Anna Sheehan
"I loved and adored Sheehan's first book, A LONG, LONG SLEEP, and was happy to see there was a second book in the series. However, it took my years to finally start reading it, in part I think because I was worried it wouldn't live up to the first. Th" Read more of this review »
“The main thing in life is to know your own mind.”
Tove Jansson
Tales from Moominvalley by Tove Jansson
“You can't ever be really free if you admire somebody too much.”
Tove Jansson
No Life But This by Anna Sheehan
" Elizabeth wrote: "I ship Rose and Bren as a couple! It may sound odd, because Bren's grandfather was Rose's boyfriend, but I think that they would be ...more "
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No Life But This by Anna Sheehan
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Hey everyone -- current status on the book is as follows:

My excellent editors at Orion helped this book become the best I could have imagined. Thank you everyone who kept faith with me, and sent encouragement through this difficult editing process.

More of Anna's books…
“I am free. I am haunted. But if nothing else, I am wide awake.”
Anna Sheehan, A Long, Long Sleep

“I haven't finished revisiting Sleeping Beauty. As a faerie tale, that one is rife with inherent difficulties. After all, the world doesn't stop just because one person is asleep.”
Anna Sheehan, A Long, Long Sleep

“I didn't want the sun to rise. I didn't want the world to continue turning. I wanted the whole planet put into stasis until I could catch up.”
Anna Sheehan, A Long, Long Sleep


March BOM group read

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“I don't like cleaning or dusting or cooking or doing dishes, or any of those things," I explained to her. "And I don't usually do it. I find it boring, you see."

"Everyone has to do those things," she said.

"Rich people don't," I pointed out.

Juniper laughed, as she often did at things I said in those early days, but at once became quite serious.

"They miss a lot of fun," she said. "But quite apart from that--keeping yourself clean, preparing the food you are going to eat, clearing it away afterward--that's what life's about, Wise Child. When people forget that, or lose touch with it, then they lose touch with other important things as well."

"Men don't do those things."

"Exactly. Also, as you clean the house up, it gives you time to tidy yourself up inside--you'll see.”
Monica Furlong, Wise Child

“The brambles and the thorns grew thick and thicker in a ticking thicket of bickering crickets. Farther along and stronger, bonged the gongs of a throng of frogs, green and vivid on their lily pads. From the sky came the crying of flies, and the pilgrims leaped over a bleating sheep creeping knee-deep in a sleepy stream, in which swift and slippery snakes slid and slithered silkily, whispering sinful secrets.”
James Thurber, The 13 Clocks

“You mere device," he gnarled. "You platitude! Your Gollux ex machina!”
James Thurber, The 13 Clocks

“I am the Golux, the only Golux in the world and not a mere device”
James Thurber, The 13 Clocks

“You can't ever be really free if you admire somebody too much.”
Tove Jansson, Tales from Moominvalley

103157 Irresisitble Reads Book Tours — 277 members — last activity May 04, 2020 09:43PM
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