The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Anna Burley

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The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Anna Burley


Summary: In Bipolar Parent Anna Burley bravely told us about her childhood. We were delighted when she agreed to tell us a little more about the background to the book.
Date: 28 June 2011
Interviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee

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In Bipolar Parent Anna Burley bravely told us about her childhood. We were delighted when she agreed to tell us a little more about the background to the book.

  • Bookbag: When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?

Anna Burley: I imagine lots of lost people who are looking for someone to take their hand and point them in the right direction and let them know that everything will be ok. Even if it takes some time to get there. I imagine grownups that have been through pain themselves and need re-assurance.

  • BB: It takes tremendous courage to tell a story of mental, physical or sexual abuse. What convinced you to tell us about your childhood?

AB: I just got fed up with constantly hanging on to emotional baggage. It seemed that no matter how I tried I just couldn't get rid of the feelings of insecurities. My constant insecurities seemed to be ruling me and I needed to become in control of my life for the sake of my children. I found that writing was a cathartic experience.

  • BB: Do you have any contact with your family nowadays - and if so, how do you feel about them?

AB: I have an unusual relationship with my family. I haven't heard from my father in nearly a year and my mother and I have a turbulent relationship and we tolerate each other in small doses. I guess that I have learned to accept that it's just how life goes and I count my blessings that I have such a wonderful husband children and friends.

  • BB: Once you've been in contact with mental illness it's difficult to stop looking for the signs in other people. Do you find yourself doing this?

AB: Constantly. I also find myself looking very closely at the general public's reactions to everyday life and I am constantly aware of body language. I seem to be more sensitive to how people react to situations. You definitely become more understanding and tolerant of people and their funny ways.

  • BB: Do you enjoy reading? Who are your favourite authors?

AB: I enjoy reading everything from physics to twilight! I also like to read about current affairs. I love to read history but it is sometime nice to escape into a fantasy world which books can lead you to.

  • BB: Which books do your children like most? Do you still have any books from your childhood?

AB: My children are avid readers and it is a pleasure to watch and listen to them read. My favourite children's book was Enid Blighton the faraway tree I longed to find that tree!!!!

  • BB: What's your greatest pleasure and how do you relax?

AB: I love to relax with by walking the dog and spending time with my family.

  • BB: How long did it take you to write your book? Where and how do you write?

AB: It took me around a year. I wrote furiously in every spare piece of time I could find. My family were very tolerant of me!!

  • BB: You've got one wish. What's it to be?

AB: YMy wish would be to live life harmoniously and to enrich life with as many special moments as you possibly can (opps that's two wishes).

  • BB: I think we can allow you that, Anna! What's next for Anna Burley?

AB: Who knows! I am about to take another turn down the path of life. I've now quit my job and I hope to fulfil lots of lifelong ambitions.

  • BB:

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