A FORMER Hyde resident has published her first novel at the age of 76.

Anna Anderson, who lived in the village for 20 years before moving to Christchurch, has been working on Grandmother’s Footsteps for the last 15 years.

“It has been a long time coming, a long time in gestation,” said Anna, who started writing the book while in Hyde. “I started it when I first retired and got quite a long way with it. I got an agent and was progressing very nicely then it all fell through. I gave up on it and put it away then lockdown was a wonderful opportunity to get it out again and finish it.

“It has taken 15 years to deliver this baby but now I have I’m very pleased.”

The novel weaves together the stories of two women across time whose lives are inextricably linked.

It delves into the lives of Jeannie who was committed to an asylum in Glasgow in the 1920s and her granddaughter Bella who is completely unaware of the past which is mirrored in her own life.

“Both characters have become friends to me and I hope their experiences will ring true with all those who bear the burdens of womanhood,” she added.

One of the stories was inspired by her grandmother who suffered with postnatal depression after giving birth to twins.

While the second was about women getting older and what it is like.

Anna, a grandmother to seven children, says she has always loved to write.

“I just love the creative process and going away with the fairies,” she explains. “I’ve always been quite imaginative.”

She has previously worked as an actress, teacher, marriage guidance counsellor and trainer and over the years has written various short stories, plays and memoirs.

Anna is already working on a series of short stories and has ideas for a second novel.

She belongs to a book group in Hyde, the Blissford Book Club, and admits she is rather nervous as Grandmother’s Footsteps is the book of the month.

The book is available from Troubador and Amazon.

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