Interview with Expat author - Angela Waller
Angela Waller, I'm back living in England now after 30 years living around the world. I knew I had changed and so had England, so would living back here "work"? Yes, yes, YES... it's wonderful. I live on the West Sussex coast.
1. Why did you move abroad?
I had been an air hostess for over 6 years, stopped flying and worked in London for about a year… then saw job advertised in Tripoli, Libya, which I applied for an was offered. Soon after arriving in Tripoli I met my American husband and his job took us to several parts of the world for 30 years
2. How do you make a living? Are you a fulltime writer?
I have had 2 books published (one fiction, family saga, set in Yorkshire – my “loveletter to England” was how one reviewer described it; one non fiction about being an air hostess in the 1950s/60s.
I write articles for a variety of magazines – ‘Hello’; Sussex Life & other country magazines; aviation related magazines.
3. How did you start the process of writing a book and get it published? Did you go to a publisher? Self-publish?
I had had the story of my first book, The Snows of Yorkshire, in my mind for about 15 years. I went to a publisher, and they agreed to publish.
Then, when they heard that I gave talks (about 30-40 per year) about being an air hostess over half a century ago, they suggested I make the talk into a book; I did, and that (Before There Were Trolley Dollies) has also been published.
4. What was the hardest part of taking your writing to a book format? Did you blog before writing your book?
It wasn’t difficult to write the first book because I’d had it in my mind for so many years.
5. What is your perception of the expat book market?
Or is there a niche you consider your book to be part of? I think anyone who misses England, feels nostalgic about England, maybe homesick, would enjoy The Snows of Yorkshire. Anyone interested in travel/aviation would probably like Before There Were Trolley Dollies.
6. What is your favorite part of the book?
I enjoyed telling the family’s story (and checking that every time I stated a fact – taking beasts to cattle market for example – I checked that there WAS a cattle market in that town/city in that year.
7. What was the most difficult part to write?
The family were so “real” in my mind that when I had them sitting together talking, I could hardly type fast enough to keep up with their conversation.
8. Besides your book, what book should everyone read?
What a difficult question… any book, all books, are good for many people… I’ve loved Nevil Shute’s books, some of Jilly Cooper’s, all of Penny Vincenzi’s, some of Maeve Binchy’s… etc… a wide variety.
9. What advice would you give to other expats that want to write a book?
Do it. Don’t be one of the thousands (tens of thousands?) of people who say “I could write a book, if…” Just DO IT!
10. What are you working on now?
Yes, I have a third book in mind, it is based on a place we lived but fictitious stories set there.
Find out more about Angela Waller on her site, www.angelawaller.co.uk and buy her books, Before There Were Trolley Dollies and The Snows of Yorkshire.