Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 23rd February, 2013.
Beginner’s Pluck. Anne H. Putnam.
As a child, Anne would read, with a flashlight under the covers, until 3.00am. She didn’t write early, but was always keen on doing unusual things with words.
“I loved articulating, saying things in a weird way to make people laugh,” she says.
Now working in publishing, Anne loved writing, but hadn’t the discipline to finish anything.
“So I went on a course, where I had to do a dissertation; then I had this authority cracking a whip. The book took two years from the idea to its completion.”
Who is Anne H Putnam ?
Date of birth: Dec 18th, 1984, in New York. She was raised in California.
Education: A small international baccalaureate school, in San Francisco, College in St Louis, Missouri.
Family: Boyfriend, Guy.
The Day Job: “I work in publishing, for Bloomsbury, doing digital publishing.”
Interests: “I love baking. I love everything food related, like going to restaurants. And I love to travel.”
Favourite Writers: Margaret Atwood; David Sedaris: Anne Patchett: Alexander Masters.
Second Novel: “I have a lot of potential second books, but nothing concrete. I’m not sure if it will be factual, or a novel.”
Top Writing Tip: “Just start. I struggle with that. I prevaricate for two hours, then write for one. And get right away from the internet. I go to a cafe where there isn’t a connection.”
Web: www.AnnehPutnam.com Twitter: @ahputnam
The Debut: Naval Gazing. One Woman’s Quest for a Size Normal. Faber and Faber: €18.75. Kindle: €9.25.
At 17, Anne weighed over 20 stone. She had weight loss surgery, convinced her life would change. This memoir charts her emotions around body image, from her childhood, to the present, at ten sizes smaller.
“There are lots of ‘fix your weight,’ books, and ‘love yourself,’ books. I wanted to show that weight loss is good, but it’s not the culprit for everything that’s wrong; nor will it fix everything.”
The Verdict: Funny and poignant. Any woman with weight issues will surely laugh and cry with empathy.
© Sue Leonard. 2013.