I wrote my first novel in a shed – very Virginia Woolf I know! It was freezing and mildewed and invariably full of dead creatures but the only place I could escape from my one-year-old.
I nearly died from childbirth – I haemorrhaged after my first baby and Madeleine McCann disappeared three days later. I watched the media frenzy after my near-death experience with my hormones going nuts and my new-born baby in my arms, and the seed for The Butterfly Garden was sown.
I refused to get out of the car to look at the Grand Canyon – I was sixteen and engrossed in a book, not sure my parents have ever forgiven me.
It took me four years to write my first book and four months to write my second –The first was written whilst doing a creative writing course with four children under the age of eight. And the second – well there is nothing like a book deal and a deadline to focus the mind!
I am scared of heights – so when my family were swinging through the trees on zip-wires in Costa Rica I visited a butterfly farm, and thank goodness I did, my novel was based on it!
I’m also terrified of peacocks - they surrounded and pecked me at the age of three. Forty years later even a detached feather gives me heart palpitations!
My desert island book would be ‘A Suitable Boy’ by Vikram Seth – I often think that being alone on a desert island with sea, sunshine and my favourite book would be the nicest thing in the world, and then I remember how much I would miss my family!
Sophie Anderson enjoyed a career in TV production in London before working with her husband to set up an online software business where she wrote the marketing content. But neither scratched that creative itch to tell a story, so she enrolled on a writing course and wrote her first novel The Butterfly Garden. She lives in Sussex with her husband, four children, a cocker spaniel and two cats.
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