Ann Clarke takes readers back in time, growing up in Toronto in the 1960s and 1970s
May 2022 will mark the long-awaited debut of Bradford resident Ann Clarke as an author.
In his novel Insatiable Annie: Reckless and cowardly on the streets of TorontoClarke takes readers to 1970s Toronto to recount her personal journey from struggling teenager to empowered woman.
“As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to write a novel,” she says.
Clarke liked to read mystery novels and had thought of writing something like that, but until two years ago it had never occurred to her to write a novel based on her own life as a child. girl and young woman.
“I was sorting through my storage closet and came across a dusty box of my decades-old journals. I started reading them, and that’s when an idea hit me,” she says. she.
As Clarke wondered if there could be a story in the diaries that women could relate to, she decided to transcribe her diaries into chronological files on her laptop. Then, less than a year later, she produced her first manuscript.
“Each person has a story. Insatiable Annie: Reckless and cowardly on the streets of Toronto is mine,” she added.
The novel combines complicated feelings associated with childhood sexual assault, verbal and physical abuse, and the suicide of a former lover with lighthearted moments of success, such as passing a business program and getting a job as a receptionist.
Clarke’s main goal was to write a book that women of all ages would love to read, but it also became more than that.
“I wanted to make an emotional connection with other women who might have gone through similar situations and outcomes. I put the really good, the really bad, and everything in my book,” she says.
Every bit of his story is true except for the names of all the characters and some establishments in Toronto.
Clarke grew up in Toronto and North York and lived in Aurora before moving to Bradford four years ago to be closer to her mother, who turns 87 this year.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, Clarke was laid off from her job and started thinking about leaving the workforce and retiring.
It was then that she began her novel.
“I’m basically retired now, and I don’t know if I could have spent the time needed to write a manuscript if I still had a full-time job,” she says.
Clarke enjoyed the routine and work-life balance brought by her new venture.
“I wrote my manuscript while helping my mum, attending Zumba classes and playing pickleball when restrictions were lifted at Bradford Leisure Centre,” she said.
Clarke invites readers to visit her website — www.amclarkebooks.com — to find out where they can buy his book, which is due out next month.
As she looks to organize events to promote her first novel, her next book is on the way.
“I have a lot more past journals available to me. I’ve actually started my second book,” she says.
For future writers, she has this advice: “You’re never too old to write this novel.”