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Annika. Not any more!


As a child in Sweden I had hamsters but mine obviously had the gallivanting streak in him and took off one night never to be seen again. Living on a first floor apartment and with the balcony door slightly ajar I like to imagine he headed outside before strapping on a little hamster parachute and floating down to the park below – all set to explore the world!

It only takes one event to change a life. What is that action, decision, occurrence? Whose life is affected? Changed forever?


Whoa! Dudes, this is a great question…I can’t wait to hear about your life-changing moments! I bet they’ll be a lot more dramatic than mine!
Annika . Surprisingly enough, I never thought of my short stories in these terms until I started to work on my blurb. 
The most significant and life-changing moment for me occurred in my mid-20s. At the time I was a newspaper journalist in the Lake District when I was struck down by a severe illness. I was barely able to walk, unable to read, work etc. I had to return home and for months I was bed-ridden. As a result of my illness my career path to what I hoped was foreign newspaper correspondent came to a sudden halt. Over the next two years I made a very slow and gradual recovery; it was many months later that a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome was given. This debilitating disease was distressing, frightening and ultimately changed the course of my life. 
Annika I have actually written and completed a novel which just (!) needs final edits. 
Annika. However, like many writers, I started to work seriously on my craft through short stories. Although short pieces of work they require skill to master and just as much detailed editing as any novel. 
With so many shorter pieces of work completed, written both for magazines, competitions and for my own enjoyment, I was kindly encouraged  to publish these in a collection by friends both here on WP and by family and friends beyond. 
I am so happy I went ahead and completed the anthology and published them. I have learnt so much along the way…and now feel confident when it comes to releasing my novel for publication. It was hard enough with this collection and feel I would have floundered and possibly given up with a whole novel as my first publishing venture.
Annika . Without a doubt, short stories!! The ideal length for me is between 1,500 – 3,000 words…perfect to set a scene, carve a plot and develop the characters. I relish writing them and it’s pure pleasure creating them and honing them to the final work. 
Annika. I think it’s best to leave the past in the past and I am overjoyed the way my publishing career has taken off now!
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” Mother Teresa  

Absolutely!! With their tenacity and spirit I’m sure hamsters would have been a great help. At home the only other animals around are the fish and they are rather uncommunicative! Next door’s cat is a pal to me but does rather tremble when it gets down to serious matters…I feel hamsters are up for anything! 


Annika.  First and foremost I’ve learnt never to set a deadline publicly! Never again! The stress of this alone was humungous and the feeling of letting everyone down took its emotional toll on me…next time round everything will be completed and ready to sell!
Having said that, without my public journey to publication as documented on my blog I would never have made such wonderful contacts with other great bloggers and friends here – and received such wonderful, professional and quick work from David Cronin at Moyhill Publishing and promotional support and advice from Sally – the star of WP as far as I’m concerned! 



Annika.   Dudes, these biscuits are usually only made at Christmas time in Sweden but can be enjoyed all year round! Enjoy…the recipe makes a lot so there shouldn’t be any fighting over them! Make sure you have a supply of cutters to hand…my favourites are the Christmas tree and pig shape whilst my son’s is the shooting star one.
PEPPERKAKOR (Traditional Swedish Cinnamon biscuits for Christmas)
1/2 litre sugar
150 ml water
2 TBL syrup
2 TBL cinnamon
3/4 TBL cloves
1 TBL ginger
250g butter/margarine
1 TBL bicarbonate of soda
1 TBL brandy
11/2 litre flour
In a large pan, mix sugar, water, syrup and spices together whist gently warming the mixture. Keep stirring. 
Take the pot off the hob and add butter; continually stirring until mixture is cool. 
Mix the bicarbonate of soda with one tablespoon of warm water. Add this to the mixture as well as the brandy and flour. Keep mixing until dough is smooth. Place this on floured counter surface.
Roll out smaller portions of the mixture with a rolling pin until very thin and make shapes. Put these on a greased tray and bake in oven at 200C for approx. 7 mins until golden brown.


Annika . Following the whirlwind of activity preceding the launch of my short story collection I am looking forward to returning to normal! I’m determined to finish the edits of my novel and want to bring that to publication in 2018. Furthermore I have two children’s books which I want to rewrite and with the help of a friend who is a superb illustrator look at releasing these as well. A busy year ahead! 
About the Book 

It only takes one event to change a life. What is that action, decision, occurrence? Whose life is affected? Changed forever? 

In this eclectic mix of 21 short stories, flash fiction and poetry the pendulum swings between first love and murder, from soul-destroying grief to reconciliation. The tales veer from the sweet satisfaction of revenge to new beginnings, from heart-breaking miscarriages of justice to heart-warming Christmas misadventure. 

One common thread binds them all; the belief that there is no such thing as an ordinary life; they’re all extraordinary. 

Open your hearts and minds as The Storyteller Speaks. 

About the Author

Although writing has been a lifetime passion for Annika, her route to full-time writing has been circuitous. She formerly worked within journalism and the timber trade before severe illness followed by motherhood gave her an opportunity to pursue her dream.
Winning First Prize in a ‘Writing Magazine’ short story competition was the much-needed impetus and confidence booster for Annika to complete her first novel, ‘Island Girl’, which is currently in its final editing stages. ‘The Storyteller Speaks’ is Annika’s first published book. Furthermore, she has completed two, as yet unpublished, books for younger children. 
As well as writing, Annika is an avid reader (a world without books is unimaginable to her), a keen gardener, walker and she enjoys travel (in spite of her well-documented fear of flying!)
For the past three years blogging has been an important part of her life and she deeply values the friendships formed on WordPress. 
Annika lives in the South East of England with her husband and teenage son.
Connect with Annika via:

The Storyteller Speaks  Available at:  
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