Indie Author Interview

Ann Callander, A Real Family: Memories of a Misplaced Childhood


This week, I had the pleasure of helping another author’s dream come true. Ann Callander’s book is a fascinating memoir that will keep you hooked from start to finish.


“Born during WW2, rejected at birth, advertised in a local newspaper and fostered at six days old, I enjoyed a happy early childhood until I returned to live with my abusive and narcissistic mother. Set during the 1940s and 50s my story portrays a rural way of life that has changed beyond recognition, yet the personal problems of children living in dysfunctional families remain the same.

Rural life, just after the war, was an eclectic mixture of fascinating characters; tramps, pedlars, knife grinders, pot menders, Romany gypsies and rat catchers, all of whom told a story of their time. Tales told of the great city of London by Uncle Charlie, who visited yearly resplendent in brightly coloured waistcoat and bow tie, alongside interactions with a variety of rural characters, helped me dream of a time when I could travel and perhaps find a ‘real family.’”



I caught up with Ann just after her book was published. Here’s what she told me.



Congratulations, Ann! Your book is now available on the Amazon bookstore. How did you feel when you saw it for the first time?

It was exciting to see my memories in print for the first time and inspired me to begin writing another book.



That’s wonderful. I’m so pleased it’s given you the publishing bug. Can you briefly tell us about your book and why you felt compelled to write it?

‘What was it like when you were a girl?’ My grandchildren often asked for anecdotes about my childhood and were interested in how different my life had been in the 1940s and 50s compared to theirs in the 21st century. They were particularly interested in how much having a ‘real family’ meant to me after my misplaced childhood experiences. The family urged me to write a book for them to keep. The experience of writing about difficult childhood memories was very therapeutic.



I’m sure it was very cathartic. What a wonderful legacy for your family. Well done on writing it – most people never get around to it. Have you always wanted to become an author?

I’ve enjoyed writing since I was old enough to pen to paper. It was an escape from difficult home circumstances. I’ve been fortunate enough to be a published writer of poems and stories for children, and educational books for teachers, but this is the first book I’ve written which is not for the educational market.



I see. So, this is a ‘first’ of sorts. What made you take that leap and publish your book?

My eldest granddaughter saw an old photo of me as a child and copied it. She is an excellent artist. We decided it would make a good front cover for my memoir so I looked into different ways of having it published.



She is very talented. The picture on your cover is first-class. Have you any more book plans in the pipeline?

 Yes. I have been inspired to begin writing again but this time it will be fiction.



That’s great news! What advice would you offer other aspiring authors who want to self-publish their books?

Ensure that you read and edit your work carefully before deciding to self-publish. You may find that your work needs proof-reading and editing by a professional. Although many authors self-publish on Amazon without help I would recommend using a good publishing service such as that given by Michelle Emerson. Before deciding which service to use I was able to browse Michelle’s website and look at some of the books she had helped authors to self-publish. Michelle made the whole process easy and I wouldn’t hesitate to use her services again.


Thanks very much, Ann. It was a pleasure to help you! Very best of luck with your book!



If you’ve been dreaming of self-publishing your book on Amazon but getting nowhere, get in touch. I’d love to help.


Self-publishing Services for Overwhelmed First-time Authors 



Please follow me on social media