A woman who grew up in Haverhill has drawn inspiration from the town she remembers so fondly for her first self-published book.
Supernatural novel ‘Azure of the Realm – Othersiders 1’ is about a parallel world known as The Realm and uses Haverhill as the basis for The Otherside, its real world setting.
Author Annie Frances Swann has avoided using real place names but says she ‘is sure’ people from Haverhill will recognise the locations she has chosen to set part of her fictional story in.
These include Queen’s Square which features ‘quite prominently’ but has been renamed Hollow Square, the recreation ground and the former Plough pub in Withersfield Road which is the setting for the first scene in the prologue.
Miss Swann said: “Haverhill will always be a place I hold dear to my heart, as it is where I spent my most formative years, until my father passed away in 1977. I was 12 years old at the time, when my mother and I moved to Norfolk.
“Many of the childhood memories my character, Ash Nightingale, has shared in her story, are in fact closely linked to my own life.
“I have avoided using any real place names, so as to make the story open to more people’s interpretation of the location, but it is written in a way that people from Haverhill could hopefully recognise various locations by their descriptions.”
While drawing on her ‘happy childhood memories’ and personal experiences for the story, Miss Swann’s interest in paganism and magic is what inspired her to write the novel, which took her five years to complete.
“I have always been drawn to nature and as a small child I believed in fairy folk,” she said. “I therefore wanted to write a story that had a personal connection to my happy childhood memories, but which also offered an air of intrigue to incorporate more adult viewpoints.”
The 52-year-old, who now lives in Attleborough, is currently working on a sequel which will also be set in Haverhill.
Thanking her friends and family for all their advice and support, Miss Swann said she had found writing the book, and being responsible for her own website and marketing, a ‘challenging and very enjoyable experience’.
Azure of the Realm is available as an eBook on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
Go to www.amazon.co.uk.
To find out more about Miss Swann, see www.anniefrancesswann.com.