Anne Goodwin author of Becoming Someone, an anthology of short stories

You know who you are: Becoming Someone

I am delighted to jump aboard Anne Goodwin’s blog tour promoting her newest book of short stories Becoming Someone. While I don’t usually participate in blog tours, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity as Anne and I have been friends almost since the beginning of my blogging days.

Anne was not the first person I met when I began blogging, but she is the earliest to still be with me on my journey. Interestingly, we met on Twitter where a discussion about singing (or not) led to a blog post and then countless conversations on her blog and mine over the past (almost) five years. I am extremely grateful for her encouragement and support as I discovered who I might become in the blogging world. Even when I’m not so sure*, Anne is always there to give me something to think about.

Back in those early days, just over four years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Anne in London when I was visiting family. Although it was quite a lengthy journey for her (not quite as far as from Australia but it wasn’t a day trip for me), Anne didn’t hesitate to meet up. We met at the British Library and, during the course of the day, Anne revealed a secret – she had secured a contract for her first novel Sugar and Snails. She was already an award-winning and published writer of short stories, but now she could add novelist to her achievements. I was so thrilled to be one of the first to be let into the secret and I told her that I was pleased to have known her before she became famous.

Now Anne’s second novel Underneath is also published and a third (and maybe fourth) is in progress. I had been a fan of Anne’s short stories before either of her novels were published, so am now delighted that she has collected some of her stories together into an anthology Becoming Someone to be launched with a huge Launch Party on Facebook tomorrow 23 November 2018. Everyone is welcome so make sure you drop in to say “Hi” and pick up your copy of her book. (I believe she is offering virtually anything you wish to eat or drink.)

But perhaps I shouldn’t ramble on too long with my memories and instead let Anne introduce herself to you through her official bio.

Anne Goodwin author

Anne Goodwin, author of Becoming Someone, a collection of short stories

Anne Goodwin’s debut novel, Sugar and Snails was shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her second novel, Underneath, was published in 2017. Her short story collection, Becoming Someone, on the theme of identity launches on Facebook on November 23rd, 2018, where the more people participate the more she’ll donate to Book Aid International. A former clinical psychologist, Anne is also a book blogger with a particular interest in fictional therapists.

Alongside her identity as a writer, she’ll admit to being a sociable introvert; recovering psychologist; voracious reader; slug slayer; struggling soprano; and tramper of moors.

Becoming Someone by Anne Goodwin

Becoming Someone blurb

cover of Becoming Someone by Anne Goodwin

What shapes the way we see ourselves?

An administrator is forced into early retirement; a busy doctor needs a break. A girl discovers her sexuality; an older man explores a new direction for his. An estate agent seeks adventure beyond marriage; a photojournalist retreats from an overwhelming world. A woman reduces her carbon footprint; a woman embarks on a transatlantic affair. A widow refuses to let her past trauma become public property; another marks her husband’s passing in style.

Thought-provoking, playful and poignant, these 42 short stories address identity from different angles, examining the characters’ sense of self at various points in their lives. What does it mean to be a partner, parent, child, sibling, friend? How important is work, culture, race, religion, nationality, class? Does our body, sexuality, gender or age determine who we are?

Is identity a given or can we choose the someone we become?

Becoming Someone published 23rd November, 2018 by Inspired Quill

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-908600-77-6 / 9781908600776

eBook ISBN: 978-1-908600-78-3 / 9781908600783

Amazon author page viewauthor.at/AnneGoodwin

Author page at Inspired Quill publishers http://www.inspired-quill.com/authors/anne-goodwin/

Note: Important Addendum from Anne

If anyone was considering buying a digital version of Becoming Someone, I wanted to alert you to the fact that there’s been a technical hitch with the link to the e-book on Amazon. We hope this will be fixed soon but, in the meantime, it’s available it at the same price through the publishers here:
http://www.inspired-quill.com/product/becoming-someone-kindle-ebook/

Facebook launch in support of Book Aid International https://www.facebook.com/events/285314412085573/

Becoming Someone Facebook launch

Becoming Someone Facebook launch https://www.facebook.com/events/285314412085573/

An online party to celebrate the publication of my first short story anthology, Becoming Someone.

Drop in at your own convenience wherever you are in the world, I’ll be here to entertain you from morning coffee to pre-dinner drinks.

The more actively people participate, the more I’ll donate to Book Aid International.

To find out more about Anne and her books

visit her website: annegoodwin.weebly.com

connect with her on Twitter @Annecdotist

or check out these other posts on her blog tour:

Becoming Someone blog tour

Special Offer

Sugar and Snails special offer

Through November, in celebration of the publication of Becoming Someone, Anne has a special promotion of her debut novel Sugar and Snails.  It is discounted to 99p or equivalent (Kindle version) until the end of the month. viewbook.at/SugarandSnails

Becoming Someone: Teaser

As well as on our own blogs, Anne and I have kept in touch at the Carrot Ranch where we participate in the weekly flash fiction challenges set by Charli Mills. Anne was also kind enough to support me in judging the recent fractured fairy tale contest held as part of the Carrot Ranch Flash  Fiction Rodeo. (Note: The results of that contest will be published at the Carrot Ranch on 7 December.)

Knowing how much I enjoy fractured fairy tales, Anne has kindly allowed me to share an extract from her fractured fairy tale Reflecting Queenie which features in her anthology Becoming Someone. I wonder if you’ll be able to recognise which fairy tale Anne has fractured. If not, then you might just have to read the whole story in her book.😊

Reflecting Queenie teaser for Becoming Someone by Anne Goodwin

Reflecting Queenie

Queenie would not have wanted me there, but she could hardly expect Dad to attend her trial alone. So I sat beside him in the public gallery as he held himself as still as his Parkinson’s would permit, while the prosecution ripped her personality apart. It was a straightforward case of jealousy, they said, and only Queenie seemed surprised when the jury returned a guilty verdict.

Up until that point, she’d kept herself aloof, not quite focused on anyone, or anything. Now she raised her head towards the gallery and found me. Her fear and confusion beat against my skin, fighting to penetrate my mind. I stayed firm and let it all bounce back to her, as if I were a bat, and she the ball.

I was not quite three when my mother decided I had special powers. As she told me later, it was the only explanation for the way I seemed to anticipate her every move. She’d be thinking about making an apple pie and before she’d opened her mouth I’d be wrestling the baking bowl out of the cupboard. She’d be wondering how her Gran was getting on and, before she knew it, I’d be pushing a pad of Basildon Bond into her hand.

“How did you know?” she’d ask again and again and, since I hadn’t the words to tell her, she concluded I was telepathic.

I was four when my baby brother fractured our blissful duet. It didn’t matter then if she was thinking about baking or writing a letter, his slightest whimper drew her to him. “What is it?” she crooned. “Are you hungry? Do you want your nappy changing?”

Her sing-song voice embarrassed me. She sounded wrong in the head. As if she were unable to distinguish between a scream of hunger and a summons to clean him up.

Weeks passed before I realised she genuinely couldn’t tell the difference. That her ears received each cry in my brother’s repertoire in an identical way. I realised that if I didn’t call out “He’s hungry” or “He’s lonely” the moment the baby started to grizzle, we’d never have baked any pies or written any letters again.

My mother would look at me in wonder as the baby latched on to her nipple or gurgled in her arms. “How did you know?”

Without a spell at nursery to acclimatise me to other children, school entered my life with a bang. If I’d thought my baby brother was noisy, it was nothing compared to the playground racket. At first I kept to the edge, intimidated by the terrible uniformity of the other children. I leant against the fence and watched, while I worked out how to survive the confusion, how to remember which blonde-haired blue-eyed little girl was Judith and which was Mandy. Which of my classmates liked Smarties and which preferred Fruit Pastilles. Who walked to school and who travelled by bus.

When the first of the children jabbed me on the chest, I was prepared. “What’s my name?” she demanded.

I told her.

She giggled. “How did you know?”

Another sauntered up. “When’s my birthday?”

Again, I told her.

“How did you know?”

After that, I was never alone in the playground. The other children could always find a use for my attentiveness. I’d skip along with a gaggle of girls hanging onto my arms. In the early years I suppose it made them feel secure that someone could tell them who they were. Later, their requirements became more sophisticated. Will I get to star in the Nativity play? Does Pamela really like me or is she pretending so she can play on my bike? I answered as best I could. I took their questions inside me and reported what I felt. You’re not right for Mary but you’ll make a great shepherd. Yes, Pamela likes you but she likes your new bike even more.

Although in demand, I never took my position for granted. There was always the chance that one day I’d say something inconvenient and be pushed back against the fence. When the teacher wrote on my report, Myra is a popular girl, I knew it was provisional. I knew deep down I was no different from the kids who were left to themselves because, when people looked at them, they didn’t like what they saw. So I made sure that when my classmates looked at me all they could see was themselves.

When my report described me as good at art, I knew I’d convinced even the grownups there was no more to me than their own reflection. True, my sketches of my friends were well observed. But when I drew myself I could only manage a black outline, an empty space within.

Becoming Someone Facebook launch

*I was one of ten. When my mother wanted me to do something for her, she would often rattle off half a dozen names before she could think of mine. In fact, she couldn’t always bring my name to mind and would sometimes say, “Well, you know who you are.” It has been a long-standing family joke. But, I’m not sure if she was right. I’m not sure if I know who I am, or whether I just know who I am becoming; hopefully becoming someone who is better each day than the one before. I just know I am going to love Anne’s stories, won’t you?

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

85 thoughts on “You know who you are: Becoming Someone

  1. Charli Mills

    In many ways blogging created a bigger playground and afforded the opportunity for kindred spirits to find one another. I loved your introduction, Norah and the acknowledgment of friendships that build even as we evolve and explore who we are becoming. I remember seeing a photo of you, Geoff and Anne and feeling so delighted that you got to meet up when you went to London. Like you, I’ve long enjoyed Anne’s short stories and was thrilled when Sugar and Snails debuted. Funny how the shorts led to the long work, and the long work paved way for a book of shorts. Thus, one of the many complexities of “becoming someone.”

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. Annecdotist

      Thanks, Charli, Norah’s introduction to this piece is lovely – I keep coming back to reread it! And fabulous as it was to meet up, it would have been even better had you been able to be there. But you’ve created a wonderful playground for writers to interact.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
      1. Norah Post author

        Aw, thanks, Anne. I’m pleased you enjoyed the introduction. Now when I listen to you read on your YouTube channel, it brings back fond memories of when we met. (I forgot to congratulate you on your YouTube channel on your post. Sorry.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
    2. Norah Post author

      Thanks for you lovely comment, Charli. I like your use of the word ‘playground’. It conjures up a lovely sense of what we bloggers do when we meet up – tentative at first before strong friendships form.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  2. Hugh's Views and News

    Once again, the power of social media and blogging shows how wonderful friendships are born and go on to evolve. I dread to think what may have been if I’d never published my first blog post.

    Congratulations to Anne on her new book (and the ones she has already published). I hope the Facebook party was great fun. Thanks for not allowing this blog tour to pass on by, Norah.

    Best wishes to you both.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      If you had never published your first post, and many more, what a loss that would be to many readers, Hugh. I’m so pleased you did.
      The Facebook party was fun, Hugh. I think it’s a great way of launching a book.
      Thank you for your good wishes.

      Liked by 3 people

      Reply
  3. Annecdotist

    Norah, thanks again for this and to everyone for the supportive comments. If anyone was considering buying a digital version of Becoming Someone, I wanted to alert you to the fact that there’s been a technical hitch with the link to the e-book on Amazon. We hope this will be fixed soon but, in the meantime, it’s available it at the same price through the publishers here:
    http://www.inspired-quill.com/product/becoming-someone-kindle-ebook/

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  4. Patricia Tilton

    I love Anne’s thoughts behind the stories she shares. I have often thought that I am in a constant state of becoming, because I have had so many varied experiences and will continue to. We don’t stop “becoming.” I listened to an interview with Michelle Obama who focuses on this theme too.
    I also enjoyed knowing about your connections and that you have met. I find the KidLit community is so warm and friendly and you all become friends over the years, even if we haven’t met. We learn so much from each other. I have met many authors-friends at conferences. Perhaps one day we will meet, Nora.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I very much agree with you, Patricia, that we don’t stop becoming. How totally unacceptable it would be to just stagnate. I think Michelle Obama’s book would be interesting too. I need to make more time for reading.
      I also agree with you about the friendliness of the kidlit community, and the writing community in general. I have met many wonderful people online with whom I enjoy discussions about books, writing and life. I’d love to meet you in person, Patricia, but in the meantime, I enjoy our online conversations.

      Liked by 3 people

      Reply
  5. dgkaye

    Isn’t it amazing how we just connect with someone miles away from us, but still, great friendships have been made on social media. 🙂 This book sounds fab! Wishing Anne lots of luck. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
  6. Jacqui Murray

    What a wonderful backstory for you two. I’ve often pondered meeting up with an efriend but the occasion has never arisen. I so like that you did.

    And the theme for these stories sounds wonderful. I like that it covers all aspects of our human coming of age. Thanks for this, Norah.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
      1. Norah Post author

        I do joke a lot – but that wasn’t one of them. I remember how nervous I was to send the invite first, and then to meet up in person. I think we all hoped that none of us was Jack the Ripper. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I’m pleased you enjoyed the post, Jacqui. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet up with Anne, Geoff and Lisa when I was in London. It took some courage to contact them initially as we’d not long met each other online but I’m so pleased we did it.
      The stories are a great read. I have read many of them already but am looking forward to having them together in an anthology.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  7. Annecdotist

    Thanks, Norah, for your endorsement of my writing, both here in this post and over the five (gosh, that’s almost time to start counting on the second hand) years of our friendship. I’m looking forward to partying with you tomorrow. As you know, this book is dedicated to both you and Charli, in honour of that support and friendship, and your signed copy should be with you early next week.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
          1. Miriam Hurdle

            I know. I have family in Hong Kong. When thinking about their time, I add 12 hours + 4 hours. It’s 11:00 p.m. now, so 3:00 p.m. tomorrow their time! At some point, I even have several international time on my iPad.

            Liked by 3 people

            Reply
            1. Annecdotist

              If it’s still Thanksgiving where you are, it’s tomorrow in the UK too. I think we must be 12 hours ahead of you which perhaps isn’t too complicated, except that we might be winding down the party when you’re getting up. But it will still be there for you to look at if/when you have time.

              Liked by 3 people

              Reply
  8. thecontentedcrafter

    Norah it is so nice to read of your long friendship with Anne – and to know of the upcoming launch of this pretty amazing sounding collection! I popped over to Amazon and now have a copy of Sugar and Snails on my kindle to read and I shall most certainly be getting a copy of the new book as soon as it becomes available. We bloggers are a lucky bunch aren’t we – getting to meet so many great folk both virtually and in the round! I’m not on facebook any more, so I won’t get to join in the fun there – but my best wishes to Anne for a humdinger launch!

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for your support, Pauline. We’ve been friends for a long time too. I keep wondering when we might meet as well. I feel envious when you write about the group of blogging friends with whom you meet up regularly. It’s such a special friendship.
      I do hope you enjoy Sugar and Snails as much as I did. I can’t wait to read this collection of short stories. I sure hope it is a humdinger of a launch!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for your kind words, D. I am an admirer of you both too! And of your writing! 🙂 I have very fond memories of my meeting with Anne. We also met with Geoff Le Pard and Lisa Reiter (who hasn’t been around the Ranch for a while). It was a wonderful day and has a special place in my memory.

      Liked by 3 people

      Reply

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