Author Interview & Book Giveaway: My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher

Welcome to Author Annabel Pitcher

I was born in a small village in West Yorkshire where there were more sheep than people. No traffic, one shop, two pubs and lots of fields to play in – perfect. I love the country and, though I’ve enjoyed living in cities, I am definitely happiest in the middle of nowhere surrounded by hills.


 Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Without doubt, the best thing was seeing my book in a shop for the first time. It’s the moment all aspiring authors dream about – seeing your work on a shelf with a shiny front cover next to a load of famous novels – and it totally lived up to expectation. I don’t mean that there was a huge fanfare or red carpet or copious amounts of champagne or anything, but the feeling of pride and satisfaction was truly rewarding after a lot of hard work. My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece officially came out on March 1st in the UK, but my husband and I were in London late February and wandered into a bookshop on the off-chance they’d stocked it early. We searched the Teen Section and, lo and behold, there was one copy of my book sitting quietly on the bottom shelf! We stared at it for about ten minutes and then took a photo of me standing next to it, looking ridiculously happy. 
Night owl or early bird?
Can I be both?! During my degree at Oxford University, I learnt to survive on very little sleep to cope with the workload, so I can get by on about 5 hours a night. I love early mornings at my house, sitting with a cup of tea and starting work before the rest of the world has woken up, especially as my study looks out over fields so I can type away and watch the sunrise. Mornings are definitely my most productive time in terms of writing, but there’s something magical about the night. I have just got back from Cyprus where my husband and I swam in the sea most evenings after midnight. Moon rippled on the water, the beach was deserted and the sea was perfectly still. After the crowds of tourists during the day, it felt as if we had the wholeplace to ourselves and I was happy to miss out on sleep to experience that!      
If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Ah, this one is easy! I would definitely choose to live in the world of Harry Potter. Imagine wandering down the corridors of Hogwarts, devouring feasts in the Great Hall, learning to fly on a broomstick… Brilliant! I have often wondered what house I would be sorted into, and think I’d probably be a Ravenclaw. Of course I’d love to say Gryffindor, but to be honest I don’t think I’m brave enough. If Voldemort charged into Hogwarts, I think I’d run in the opposite direction rather than stay and fight… Oh no… Wait… Does thatmake me a SLYTHERIN?! Help!!

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?
Firstly, I’d choose a chef like Jamie Oliver to cook up a feast because I find catering quite stressful. Next on the list would be my favourite comedian, Ricky Gervais. I am less keen on his latest stuff (and didn’t find him all that entertaining at The Golden Globes), but I am a big fan of The OfficeExtras and his podcasts featuring Karl Pilkington, so I’d like to chat to him about that. Third would be ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair, because I have long suspected that he is quite barmy. Former MP Matthew Paris said of him in The Times, ‘I believe Tony Blair is an out-and-out rascal, terminally untrustworthy and close to being unhinged’ and goes on to call him ‘a pathological confidence-trickster’ and ‘delusional’, so it would be interesting to meet Blair to see if I agree with this summation. Fourth would be an American, the great Michael Johnson (four-time Olympic gold medallist), because I love his winning mentality and would like to ask him how he stayed so positive and focussed during his ten-year reign of the track. Last but certainly not least would be JK Rowling; I can imagine us chatting about all things Potter as Jamie Oliver served us something chocolaty for dessert. 
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?Definitely flying. Not only is it practical – no more sitting in traffic for hours on end! – but it would be fun too.     

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

Ten-year-old Jamie hasn’t cried since it happened. He knows he should have – Jasmine cried, Mum cried, Dad still cries. Roger didn’t, but then he is just a cat and didn’t know Rose that well, really.
Everyone kept saying it would get better with time, but that’s just one of those lies that grown-ups tell in awkward situations. Five years on, it’s worse than ever: Dad drinks, Mum’s gone and Jamie’s left with questions that he must answer for himself.
This is his story, an unflinchingly real yet heart-warming account of a young boy’s struggle to make sense of the loss that tore his family apart.

Giveaway Details
3 copies of My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece
Open to US only (No PO boxes)
Ends 8/30/12

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