Anneli Purchase is one of my colleagues at the online lifestyle magazine, Love A Happy Ending, and it’s a great privilege to host her here, and to get to know more about her. She lives in Canada, so it’s little surprise that we have never met! Welcome.
Hi Anneli. Please tell me a little about where the idea for this book came from.
On one of my extended camping trips to Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, I noticed a woman camping alone beside the beach. She never came out of her van, preferring to spend her time listening to audio tapes and smoking cigarettes. She might have been about 50 or 60 years old. I thought it was an awful way to spend those sunny days. It bothered me that she looked unhappy and unfriendly. I wondered what her story was. I decided to make up a story about her but I made her young and beautiful, friendly and outgoing. Then I gave her a serious problem – a reason to be camping alone for so long. The novel Orion’s Gift came from these root ideas.
Ooh that’s weird! Poor woman, I wonder what her story really was? Anyway, do you base any part of your characters on yourself?
I don’t see myself in my characters. Except for Julia, in Julia’s Violinist, my female characters start out being weak-willed, but their experiences toughen them up as they become stronger women. In Julia’s case, she had to be strong from the start or she would never have survived her experiences.
Tell us about your other books.
My other novels are The Wind Weeps, its sequel, Reckoning Tide – a story about a young woman’s dilemma on the remote coast of British Columbia—and Julia’s Violinist, about a love triangle in postwar Europe.
All very different settings – how fabulous. What are you working on now?
A novel set in Haida Gwaii, formerly called the Queen Charlotte Islands, on the coast of norther British Columbia.
Another great setting. I shall look forward to it. Do you have time to read as well?
I do, but I like to read a book in which I end up having learned something. This is why I like historical fiction and novels with unique settings.
Do you have a favourite writing spot? Do you listen to music or have the TV on while you write?
Any place that is quiet suits me for my writing. I wrote some parts of my novels on a beach in Mexico. I wrote the scenes in a student notebook and then took them back to my rented bungalow where I transferred them into my laptop, fleshing out the scenes as I entered them into the computer.
I love music but I find it distracting. I find myself paying more attention to the music than to my writing ideas, so it doesn’t work for me.
That’s just like me. I find music really distracting. Do you have writing buddies or beta readers? How does this work for you?
I have an excellent writing buddy. We exchange files and critique for each other. We see things in each other’s writing that we would never see in our own work. It’s a great benefit to us both.
Thanks for being my guest today, Anneli.
Anneli Purchase lives on Vancouver Island in western Canada, writing and working as a freelance copy editor. She has written four novels and is working on her fifth. She enjoys camping, fishing, gardening, and photography. Outdoor life plays a role in much of her writing.
What would you do if you had a letter telling you your days were numbered? If you had a supportive husband, that would be one thing, but a philandering, selfish blowhard with a temper, would be quite another. Would you stay to be cast aside when you become a burden? Or would you take the nearest escape route to salvage what’s left of your life?
When Sylvia makes a break from her California home and goes on a camping escape to Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, she doesn’t expect to meet and fall in love with Kevin who is also on the run. She doesn’t expect to find happiness again.
But her controlling husband sends a burly private investigator to bring her back. Although Sylvia tries to find refuge and peace in the quiet camping areas of Baja, a crazed drug dealer, whom she has inadvertently offended at a chance meeting on the road, is also out for revenge. Kevin promises to protect her, but can she trust him? He has problems of his own. Big ones.
Perhaps she should never have left home. Escaping her fate doesn’t seem so easy anymore.