Interview with Anne Stenhouse, Author of Mariah's Marriage
ANNE STENHOUSE has always loved words. Reading them and using them greedily, she can’t truly remember a time when she couldn’t escape into the pages of a book and certainly can’t remember when she couldn’t talk and ask questions. Anne is a published and performed playwright. She studied both English and History at University in Edinburgh, and finds it a great joy to combine these two disciplines in her first novel, Mariah’s Marriage. Being a playwright means Anne loves dialogue and knows a piece is going well when she ‘begins to hear the characters talking to each other’. She has been a civil servant, full-time Mum and, for a while, a worker in an Addictions’ rehabilitation unit. Anne lives in Scotland with her husband and dancing partner of over thirty years. Their children and a grandchild are close by. www.annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com http://www.facebook.com/annestenhouseAuthor Where did you grow up?
In Scotland. I grew up in an industrial village in the Shale Oil field.
When did you begin writing?
I wrote ‘letters’ to my granny from a very young age, before I went to school. Later I discovered my Dad would take the scribbles in their envelopes and dispose of them. Explains why I never got any replies. My first play, a re-working of Goldilocks and the Three Bears called "The Magic Dumpling," was performed by my school class for the whole school when I was eight.
What is this book about?
Mariah’s Marriage is about the suffering a woman experiences when her aspirations for a career clash with the knowledge she’s as vulnerable to a handsome man as any other.
What inspired you to write it?
I’ve always been interested in the mind-set that will not challenge accepted practice. Why should a woman be excluded simply because she’s female? Likewise, why should education be withheld from anyone because their parents aren’t wealthy?
If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?
I would have joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme earlier. They ask you to write a book every year and it is critiqued by a published writer. So valuable.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
Write the story, re-write the story. Edit the writing, edit it again, edit it some more. Ask a writer friend to read it and give an honest opinion and mark ms typos they’ve noticed. Research the market. Submit. Start the next novel/story/play.
What is up next for you?
I’m structuring a novel or novella using two of the subordinate characters from Mariah’s Marriage. Their story is begging to be told.